Prevalence and Correlates of Unmet Need Among the Elderly with ADL Disabilities


This report examines how many disabled elderly are at risk because they do not receive the assistance they need in basic self-maintenance activities. The source of data was the 1982 and 1984 National Long-Term Care Surveys. The estimates of the number of elderly with unmet needs are sensitive to the way one defines "unmet need." Depending on the specific definition invoked, the estimates range between 200,000 and 1.8 million persons in 1990. The estimates indicate the magnitude of the most serious unmet needs, namely those that are completely unaddressed. They should be considered underestimates, because existing survey data do not permit analysis of undermet need, that is, cases where needs receive some but not wholly adequate attention. Additional research is needed, because unmet need is an important factor when long-term care coverage and eligibility issues are considered. [22 PDF pages]

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