“Trends in Disability and Related Chronic Conditions among People Ages Fifty To Sixty-Four “is a paper published by the RAND Corporation in the current edition of the Health Matters Journal.
This is what the abstract says:
Although still below 2%, the proportion of people ages 50–64 who reported needing help with personal care activities increased significantly from 1997 to 2007. The proportions needing help with routine household chores and indicating difficulty with physical functions were stable. These patterns contrast with reported declines in disability among the population age sixty-five and older.
Particularly concerning among those ages 50—64 are significant increases in limitations in specific mobility-related activities, such as getting into and out of bed. Musculoskeletal conditions remained the most commonly cited causes of disability at these ages. There were also substantial increases in the attribution of disability to depression, diabetes, and nervous system conditions for this age group.
We write and talk a lot about the attitudes of the 50-plus but not enough about the physiological ageing issues. Depressing they might be but they are very important.
This article gives some more detail.
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