CDC: More than 20% of 85+ adults need ADL assistance

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Photo by John Merkle.
Photo by John Merkle.

More than 20% (21.7%) of adults aged 85 or more years needed help with activities of daily living in the first half of the year, according to the latest data released Tuesday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The finding means that adults in that age range are more than twice as likely as those aged 75 to 84 (8.5%) and more than six times as likely as adults aged 65 to 74 (3.4%) to need ADL assistance, based on data from the January-to-June National Health Interview Survey.

Overall, 7% of adults aged 65 or more years need help personal care such as eating, bathing, dressing and walking. For all adults aged 65 or more years, and for the 65-to-74 age group, women were more likely than men to need ADL help.

The totals of 65-and-older adults needing personal care assistance were 11.8% for Hispanic adults, 10.9% for non-Hispanic black adults and 5.8% for non-Hispanic white adults.

Data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey found that 20.7% of adults 85 or older, 7% of those aged 75 to 84 and 3.4% of those aged 65 to 74 needed help with ADLs. Overall, 6.4% of adults aged more than 65 years needed help with personal care in 2016.

Reviewing data from 1997 to June 2017, CDC researchers said they did not see a clear trend in the percentage of older adults who needed ADL assistance.

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