- The prevalence of disability increased from 28% two years before death to 56% in the last month of life.
- Those who died at the oldest ages were much more likely to have disability two years before death.
- Disability was more common in women two years before death.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Disabled Older Adults: Independence with Dignity (Research, Video 1:32)
Little is known about disabled older adults who live independently during their daily living experiences. For that reason, a national study on older adult disabilities was done. Participants over age 50 were interviewed once at various times during their last 24 months of life in order to calculate the prevalence of national disabilities estimates. A disability was defined as a need for help with at least one of the following daily activities: dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, walking across the room, and using the toilet. The following results were determined with 8,232 participants:
Those who live to an older age are likely to be disabled and in need of caregiving assistance many months or years before death. The following video based on the award-winnning documentary titled “Dominick and Margaret” features the perspectives of a disabled man and woman. These two have made great strides in maintaining their independence and in encouraging others who are disabled to do the same:
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.