The newly released federal report tracks trends relating to 37 key measures of older adults’ well-being. The report analyzes both seniors’ choices, such as senior housing decisions, and factors that influence seniors’ decisions, such as prevalence of functional limitations, to offer a complete perspective of how Americans fare as they age.
The report found that seniors largely live in the home, but reliance on residential services, through options like assisted living, increases with age. Eight percent of Medicare enrollees age 85 and older live in community housing with services, which includes assisted living communities and continuing care retirement communities. Only one percent of those age 65 to 74 report the same living situation. Among those who lived in a community that provided services, 84 percent received access to meal preparation assistance. 80 percent received access to housekeeping or cleaning services. 73 percent had access to laundry services, and 48 percent reported access to medication assistance.
The report also found that the number of seniors with functional limitations has declined over time. In 1992, 49 percent of those age 65 and older reported limitations on at least one activity of daily living (ADL). In 2009, that number was down to 41 percent. The number of seniors with three or four ADLs remained relatively stable. In 1992, six percent reported three or four ADLs; while in 2009, five percent reported three to four ADLs.
The federal report also documented an increased use of hospice, from 19 percent to 43 percent over ten years, and a decrease in the percentage, from 49 to 32 percent, of older Americans who died in hospitals.
Read the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics’ full report: Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being
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