Need for help increases with age but is lower in later generations
In the HALE project, in elderly European men and women disability and need for help increased with advancing age but at the same time decreased over time among more recent generations. The prospective analysis showed a favorable time trend in self-care abilities for men and women and in need for self-care help in men.
Mobility varies across cultures
Mobility-related disability among men and self-care disability among women decreased overall but more in cohorts from the south than from the north of Europe. This suggests that the proportion of elderly people with disabilities is decreasing and that physical function differs across cultures.
Measuring physical function
Physical function was measured with the self-administered WHO-questionnaire on Activities of Daily Living.