TABLE 3.16 Age and Sex Distribution of the Elderly Population by Level of Impairment: 1984

 

 

Percent Distribution

 

 

Age

Sex

Level of Impairment

Number (millions)

65–74

75–84

85+

Female

Male

One of Seven ADLsa

6.0

47

38

15

66

34

One Plus, Core ADLsb

3.7

44

38

18

68

32

Two Plus, Core ADLsb

2.0

42

37

21

67

33

Three Plus, Core ADLsb

1.2

39

39

22

68

32

Total elderly

26.4

62

31

75

9

41

aOne or more activities of daily living (ADL) limitations based on seven ADLs (walking, getting outside, bathing, transferring, eating, toileting, and dressing).

bOne, two, or three or more ADL limitations based on the core set (bathing, transferring, eating, toileting, and dressing).

SOURCE: Rowland et al., 1988.

community sample revealed that 3.0 percent of those age 65 to 74 had probable Alzheimer’s disease compared with 18.7 percent of those age 75 to 84 (Evans et al., 1989).

Suicide is a more frequent cause of death among the elderly than any other age group (owing to the high suicide rate of older white men). In 1984, the suicide rate for white men age 65 and older was 41.6 deaths per 100,000 population, which was four times the national rate and six times the rate for white women age 65 and older (NCHS, 1988b).

SUMMARY

The United States will experience continued growth of the total population and the elderly population, especially among the oldest age groups. Between the years 2000 and 2040, the “baby boom” generation will turn 65, thus increasing the demands on the Medicare program and the long-term-care system.

The ratio of females to males in the elderly population will continue to rise. In addition, elderly women on average have a higher prevalence of limitations in activities of daily living, visit physicians more frequently, and are more predominant users of hospital and nursing home care than men. These trends have significant implications for demands on the Medicare program and the long-term-care system.



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