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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 1: Prevalence of Disabilities

1.3. How many people need assistance in daily activities?

An estimated 4.0% (9.2 million) of the noninstitutionalized population age 5 and over in the United States need personal assistance with one or more activities. Over 5.8 million people need assistance in "instrumental activities of daily living" (IADL), while 3.4 million need assistance in "activities of daily living" (ADL). ADL includes bathing, dressing, eating, walking, and other personal functioning activities. IADL covers preparing meals, shopping, using the phone, doing laundry, and other measures of living independently. If someone has a need for assistance in ADL, it is assumed that they will have a need for assistance in IADL also.

One in 25 people age 5 and over needs assistance in daily activities.

Figure 1.3

Source: LaPlante, 1996

Survey: NHIS, 1992

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