Caregiver feeding elderly woman

Almost 20% (19.6%) of adults aged at least 85 years need help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing or walking, according to data from the January-June 2018 National Health Interview Survey, released Wednesday.

For both sexes combined, the percentage of adults who needed help with personal care increased with age, according to the estimates based on the survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Of those aged 75 to 84, 8.7% needed help with ADLs, and of those aged 65 to 74, 3.7% needed assistance.

This pattern of the need for personal care increasing with age also was true for men and women, although women were more likely than men to need help.

By race and ethnicity, 11.5% for non-Hispanic black adults over 65 needed help, as did 10.1% of Hispanic adults and 6.2% of non-Hispanic white adults.

Looking at metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the government, the percentage of older adults who needed help with personal care was 7.2% for those living in a large MSA, 6.5% for those not living in a MSA and 6% for those living in a small MSA.