Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
LAZARO ALQUEZAR, Angelina; RUBIO ARANDA, Encarnación; SANCHEZ SANCHEZ, Antonio and GARCIA HERRERO, Julio César. Functional Capacity for Daily Living Activities among Senior Citizens Attending Community Centers in the City of Zaragoza, Spain, 2005. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.81, n.6, pp. 625-636. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272007000600006.
Background: To study the dependence related to aging is of particular interest in Aragon, where the population is one of the most aged in Spain. The objective of this study is that of quantifying the degree of functional dependence for daily living activities (DLA) and identifying the personal traits related thereto among individuals age 65 and above who are living at home and attend Community Centers in the city of Zaragoza. Methods: Cross-sectional study with 380 individuals selected by two-stage sampling. The OARS-MFAQ questionnaire was used by way of personal interviews, analyzing questions which assess the functional capacity to carry out the DLAs and their scoring (dependent variable), sociodemographic variables, self-assessed health condition and actual and hypothetical informal help (independent variables). The chi-square was used for evaluating classified residual data (p<0.05) and multiple correspondence analyses. Results: A total of 9.6% of the subjects showed "major/total dependence", this percentage increasing to 15.5% and 18.7% for those individuals above age 75 and 80, respectively. The "minor/moderate dependence" is related to being a female (p<0.01), health condition self-assessed as poor-passable (p<0.0001), being a widow(er) (p<0.01), having no elementary school education (p<0.01). Conclusions: Those individuals who are more elderly, females, widow/widowers, having a lesser degree of education and worse self-assessed health condition are more dependent. Practically one out of every ten non-institutionalized individuals 65 years of age or over shows a severe deterioration of their functional capacity. Extrapolating, nearly 11,000 individuals in the city of Zaragoza would require daily help for the DLAs or should stay institutionalized.
Keywords : Elderly; Activities of Daily Living (ADL); Personal Autonomy.