Overall, women are more likely than men to require personal assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Activities of daily living, basic self-maintenance activities that are essential for daily functioning, include bathing, dressing, eating, getting around inside the house, using the toilet and getting out of a bed or chair. Instrumental activities of daily living include going outside the home, keeping track of money, preparing meals, doing light housework and using the telephone. According to the SIPP, women account for 62.4% of people needing assistance with one or more ADLs or IADLs (McNeil, 1997). Results from the NHIS, shown in the chart below, also demonstrate that the likelihood of needing personal assistance with IADLs or ADLs increases markedly with age. Less than two percent of women 44 years and under need personal assistance, compared to nearly one-third (30.5%) of women 75 years and older.
Data Table for Figure 26
Source: LaPlante & Carlson (1996).
Surveys: NHIS, 1992