» Study Finds High Disability Rates For Elderly

Study Finds High Disability Rates For Elderly

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2013 - Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have released a study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine, after looking at more than 15 years of data.

New York Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney Bernard Krooks

They examined the national Health and Retirement Study in order to discern how many elderly people are disabled in their last few years of life. The study looked at more than 8,000 adults over the age of 50 who died between the years 1995 and 2010, and how mobile they were, as well as any disabilities they had.

Gerontologists and other elder care professionals have been working on the “compression of morbidity:” keeping seniors healthy and active as long as possible so that there is little-to-no loss in quality of life until just before death. But despite their best efforts, the researchers believe that instead, people are living longer while also disabled. Though later-life disability can be slowed down, it cannot, it seems, be prevented entirely. According to the lead author, Dr. Alex Smith, most people who live to an older age, especially women, do so with a mobility issue or other disability.

The study found that for the last two years before death, 28 percent of individuals were disabled in an area of "activities of daily living," meaning they could not bathe, dress or toilet themselves without assistance. Twelve percent of that group was severely disabled; they needed assistance with all three of the activities of daily living, and other assistance, as well. The rate of disability rose sharply with the age ranges; of the group which died by age 69, only 15 percent were disabled in the two years prior to their deaths. Of the group which died after age 90, at least 50 percent were disabled within two years prior to their deaths.

Mobility issues occurred in most people in the study; 69 percent of the older group had reported that they could not walk more than several blocks, while 50 percent reported that they had trouble using stairs. Women overwhelmingly were more disabled in their later years compared to men the same age, possibly due to depression, osteoporosis and arthritis, all of which occur more commonly in elderly women than in elderly men. The study did not include the incidences of cognitive decline.

The study indicates that the U.S. needs better elder care facilities, comprehensive medical elder care and extensive support structures in place as the nation's elderly population continues to grow.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
[email protected]

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone

  • Westchester to Receive $3.3 Million Grant for In-Home Senior Services
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services will receive a $3.3 million grant for in-home services for seniors. Gov. Cuomo said that the funding would help older New Yorkers continue to live in their homes with dignity and would improve their quality of life. New York […]
  • When Not to Claim an Inheritance
    Although it may seem counter-intuitive to turn down an inheritance, there are situations in which it may actually be beneficial to do so. When a person refuses to accept an inheritance, that person is said to disclaim it, and the effect is the same as if the heir had predeceased the person who died. The […]
  • Settlement Reached for Seniors Who Must Leave Assisted Living Home
    An assisted living home for seniors in New York City is closing and five residents who had refused to move will accept a $3.35 million settlement. In March 2014, the management of a home for seniors in Brooklyn announced that the facility was closing and the residents would have to move within 90 days. Many […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required