Coping or Caring for Functional Limitations: Does It Change the Risk of Severe Restriction in Personal Care Activities?

Emmanuelle Cambois, DREES / Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Women over age 55 have more severe restrictions for personal care activities than men but, when controlling for functional status, gender differences fade away after age 70 and even turn to women's advantage below this age. This study shows that women and men have different compensatory strategies facing functional problems ; men more often use assistive devises while women more often benefit from someone's help. Functional status being equal, the risk of severe restriction is higher when human assistance is reported rather than technical assistance only. While no gender differences appear in the risk of severe restriction among those who do not use any help or among those who cop with technical equipment only, women have lower risk than men in the case of using someone's help. The study discusses different ways to interpret these findings.

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Presented in Session 143: Disability Measurement Issues