Disability and Care Needs of Older Americans: An Analysis of the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study. Appendix I. Construction of Activity Limitation Measures

04/11/2014

For self-care and mobility limitations (eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, getting out of bed, getting around inside, getting outside; corresponding to ADLs), respondents are asked if and how often they used specific devices for the task, how often they received help, and how difficult the task was for them to carry out by themselves (if relevant, when they used devices previously named). We created a three-category summary variable: no difficulty or help, difficulty but no help, and any help. NHATS respondents living in nursing home settings are assumed to be helped with self-care or mobility activities.

For household activities (laundry, hot meals, shopping for personal items, paying bills/banking, handling medications; corresponding to IADLs), respondents are asked whether anyone does the activity with them or for them for health or functioning-related reasons, whether they ever do the activity on their own, and if they do the activity on their own whether they have difficulty carrying out the activity by themselves. We created a three-category summary variable: no difficulty or help, difficulty for health-related or functioning-related reasons but no help, and any help. NHATS respondents living in nursing home settings are assumed to be helped with household activities for health/functioning-related reasons.

Finally, we summarized across the self-care or mobility and household activities as follows: no difficulty or help with any activities, difficulty but no help, and any help. NHATS respondents living in nursing home settings are assumed to be helped.

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