Austria’s elderly are increasingly frail

The frequency of restrictions in daily activities increased over five years from 12.8 to 17.9 percent for men and from 19.2 to 25.7 percent for women. This is shown by an analysis of Statistics Austria’s health surveys.

Austria’s elderly aged 65 and over are becoming increasingly frail. This is the result of an analysis of data from the Health Survey of Statistics Austria (ATHIS 2014 and 2019) by Austrian scientists on behalf of the Ministry of Health. Within five years, the frequency of restrictions in daily activities increased from 12.8 to 17.9 percent for men and from 19.2 to 25.7 percent for women.

The study with first author Selem Woldemariam, with the participation of experts from the Karl Landsteiner Institute for Health Promotion Research and Meduni Vienna and the “House of Mercy”, is now published in the Wiener Klinisch Wossenschrift (doi: 10.1007/0204-08- 02388-4). “Difficulties in activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) in the elderly decrease quality of life and increase the need for long-term care. The present study examined impairment in people aged 65 and over in Austria using data from the Austrian Health Interview Survey (ATHIS). ,” the experts wrote.

The differences are significant

Data from the 2014 and 2019 ATHIS surveys also recorded the frequency of use of activities of daily living (ADL – activities of daily living; e.g., eating, bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, etc.) in people over 65 years of age. and undressing, walking, climbing stairs, excreting) or the IADL score (specific activities such as telephone calls, shopping, cooking, housework, transportation, medication, financial transactions). Data from two survey seasons were compared for 5,853 people over 65 years of age.

See also  Sir Simon Rattle and the question of managing a difficult inheritance

However, the differences over the five-year period were statistically significant. “ADL or IADL limitations increased in both genders during the five-year follow-up period,” the authors wrote. Among men, the frequency of limitations in general activities of daily living (ADL) increased from 12.8 percent to 17.9 percent. For women, the ratio rose from 19.2 percent to 25.7 percent.

For special operations, the restrictions are doubled

In the most specific activities of daily living (IADL score), the frequency of limitations among men over 65 doubled from 18.9 percent to 35.1 percent within five years. Among women, the frequency rose from an already high initial level (2014) of 38.2 percent to 50.8 percent (2019).

Among those over 80 years of age, the frequency of limitations in daily activities (ADL, IADL) was four times higher than among younger participants in the ATHIS survey. Participants with at least one chronic disease were four times more likely to report such impairments. There was also a strong correlation between education level, social context (being single/married), being born in the EU or outside Europe and place of residence.

A health policy is needed

In their conclusions, the authors of the study: “Gender, age, education, country of birth, residence, partnership status, number of chronic diseases, lack of physical activity and nutritional recommendations are closely associated with higher susceptibility to disability. Public health policy should take these factors into account in disability prevention strategies (APA).

Read more about these topics:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *