Objective: to evaluate the policy of admitting elderly blind patients with motor impairments for physical rehabilitation. Design: retrospective chart review for comparisons between blind and visually intact patients with similar diagnoses. Setting: geriatric rehabilitation hospital. Patients: all patients with stroke, fractured hip, and lower limb amputation. Exclusions: none. Assessments: walking ability and functional performance (ADL), using the Barthel Index. Results: overall outcome in blind patients was only slightly less favourable than in the visually intact, although, in comparison with premorbid status, only just over half were ambulatory at discharge and functional independence was less common. Conclusions: elderly blind patients with motor impairments should be offered a trial by physical rehabilitation.
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