Journal Articles

Publication Date



Innovation in Aging


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Many older adults face physical limitations to performing activities of daily life (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily life (IADLs) and seek help performing them. In Mexico, family caregivers, especially spouses and adult children, traditionally take care of older adults. However, a detailed characterization of the care received has not been thoroughly provided. We sought to identify socioeconomic, demographic, and health-related differences in receiving help among older adults reporting physical limitations.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Using the 2012 wave of the Mexican Health and Aging Study, we provided information on adults aged 60 and older who reported one or more physical limitations and whether they received help or not. We estimated 2 logistic regression models to obtain the odds ratios (ORs) of receiving help among individuals with an ADL limitation and those with an IADL limitation.

RESULTS: Adults with ADL limitations received, on average, approximately 10.7 hr of assistance per day, whereas those with at least 1 IADL limitation received around 7.7 hr of help per day. Women were more likely to receive help with ADLs than men (OR = 2.35). Individuals with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis also received more help with both ADLs and IADLs.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our work suggests that help received does respond to the care needs of older adults, but future research should focus on the burden of care for caregivers and expand this analysis using a longitudinal data approach.


ADL, Disability, Help, IADL, Mexico



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