The influence of personal care and assistive devices on the measurement of disability.

TitleThe influence of personal care and assistive devices on the measurement of disability.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsAgree, EM
JournalSoc Sci Med
Date Published1999 Feb
ISSN Number0277-9536
Call Numberpubs_1999_Agree_ESocSciandMed.pdf
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Disability Evaluation, Female, Humans, Life Expectancy, Logistic Models, Long-term Care, Male, Self-Help Devices

The goal of all long-term care arrangements is to reduce the disabling effects of physical impairments and functional limitations. However, the means with which individuals cope with disability may not be equivalent and these differences may influence self-reports of disability in surveys. This paper examines assistive devices and personal care as factors in the measurement of disability among persons aged 70 and older in the community using the 1994 Survey of Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD) in the US. The use of assistive technology differs from personal care on a fundamental level. It does not require the ongoing cooperation or coordination of other people and therefore increases the sense of independence with which a disabled individual can meet their long-term care needs. Results indicate that older individuals can expect to spend most of their remaining years in good functional health, but up to two-thirds of disabled years will be spent with unmet ADL needs. Among those who are disabled, those who use only equipment and no personal care report less residual difficulty with mobility than those who use personal assistance (either alone or in combination with equipment) but the use of equipment alone is most effective for those with the least severe limitations.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalSoc Sci Med
Citation Key6663
PubMed ID10075170
Grant ListP20 AG12844 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States