By Millie Dawson
Health Behavior News Service
Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older, totaling about 18 million people, require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals.
A new study in Milbank Quarterly reveals a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other “informal caregivers.”
While 51 percent of older Americans in the study reported no difficulty with routine tasks, “29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or getting around in the previous month,” said co-author Vicki A. Freedman, Ph.D., a research professor with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
“Another 20 percent reported that they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own,” she said.
- Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities such as bathing, meals or taking medications.
- Substantial numbers of older adults living outside of nursing homes experience adverse consequences from unmet care needs.
- There is a growing need for improved community-based services and support for older Americans and their caregivers.