Transitions to Disability and Dependency with Increasing Age in Europe

Abstract

Aging has been related to the onset of disability in older adults, and care may be needed to perform daily activities. Some individuals have care needs earlier in life or more urgently whereas others may not have these needs. Transitions to disability and dependency in older European adults are analysed using data from ten countries that participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Limitations in Basic Activity of Daily Living (BADL) and Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) were used to define states in individuals aged at least 65 years old at study entry (n=20128) and fitted Multi-State Models. The role of socio-demographic characteristics and health conditions on transitions towards disability and dependency states in ten European countries was assessed, using a longitudinal perspective during the decade 2004-2013. The analytical approach allowed to consider the transition to disability and dependency states and death, and how different factors affect simultaneously the risks of transitioning. Results show transitions to disability and death varied by age, sex, educational attainment and self-perceived health status, and individuals had an increased risk of disability and dependency until they reach the age of 70 years old. International variations were identified. In most countries, women had lower risk of transitioning to death but higher risk of transitioning to disability than men. In some countries (Italy and Spain) sex differences appear consistently and, in their cultural and institutional contexts, gender-sensitive care policies are crucial.



Author Information
Alejandra Marroig, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay

Paper Information
Conference: EGen2022
Stream: Lifespan Health Promotion

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Posted by amp21