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Profile of disability in elderly people: estimates from a longitudinal population study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Carol Brayne, Professor Thomas Johnson, Professor John Bond


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Objectives To provide estimates of the numbers of cognitively impaired and physically disabled elderly people in England and Wales, subdivided by a range of sociodemographic, dependency, care receipt, and survival variables, to support debates on the form and funding of health and welfare programmes. Design Interviews at baseline and 2 year follow up plus data on resource use extracted from records for those with. disability. Subjects 10 377 people aged 65 years and over in Cambridgeshire, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Oxford. AU estimates weighted to population of England and Wales in 1996. Results 11% of men and 19% of women aged 65 and over were disabled, totalling 1.3 million people; 38% of these were aged 85 or over and a similar percentage were cognitively impaired. Overall, more than 80% of elderly disabled people needed help on at least a daily basis. Over a third of people with limitations to daily activity living in private households were wholly or partly dependent on formal services for help. 63% of disabled elderly people used acute hospitals during the 2 year follow up, 43% as inpatients. 53% of those with cognitive impairment and limitations to daily activity were living in institutions. Conclusions Very elderly people and those with cognitive impairment make up a large proportion of those in need of long term care. A large proportion of even the most disabled elderly people currently live outside institutions and depend on formal services as well as informal care givers. Disabled elderly people use acute hospitals extensively, underlining the interrelations between acute and long term care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bond J; Brayne C; Johnson T; Melzer D; McWilliams B; Med Res Council Cognitive Function Ageing

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Medical Journal

Year: 1999

Volume: 318

Issue: 7191

Pages: 1108-1111

Print publication date: 01/04/1999

ISSN (print): 0959-535X

ISSN (electronic): 1756-1833

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmj.318.7191.1108


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