Volume 22 (2003) Issue 1 Pages 19-27
The purpose of this study was to investigate the ADL ability characteristics of the elderly by comparing the characteristics to achieve basic activities between the independent and institutionalized dependent elderly from the viewpoints of gender and age differences. The subjects were 697 Japanese dependent elderly living at welfare institutions for the aged, and 482 independent elderly living at home. Seventy-four activities were selected from nine ADL domains. The survey for the independent elderly was conducted in health or culture education classes, and for the elderly without these classes, a general delivery survey was conducted. The independent elderly provided their own data. The survey for the dependent elderly was conducted in welfare institutions and the staff working at the subjects' institutions responded. In two-way ANOVA of rates of items, significant gender differences were found in some changing and holding posture activities in the independent elderly group, and in activities using upper extremities in the dependent elderly group. ADL ability in the independent elderly group significantly decreases with aging, but this trend is unclear in the dependent elderly group. In the independent elderly group, indications of a decrease appear in activities with lower limbs from the 70s, and appear in the most of basic activities from the 80s. Furthermore, differences in achievement levels of each activity with aging were found in both elderly groups. These findings may suggest that there are remarkable individual differences in ADL ability of the elderly with aging.