Activity limitation and chronic conditions in Canada's elderly, 1986-2011

Disabil Rehabil. May-Jun 1999;21(5-6):196-210. doi: 10.1080/096382899297620.


Together with all other developed countries, Canada's population is experiencing a significant increase in the proportion that is elderly. This paper examines basic linkages between individual ageing, the prevalence of various chronic health conditions, functional limitation and the receipt of help in activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) for the Canadian population using recent data from the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) as well as the Health and Activity Limitation Surveys (HALS) and the two General Social Surveys (GSS) with health data. Presented are age- and sex-specific prevalence of chronic conditions and logistic regression is used to assess the impacts of different chronic conditions on the receipt of help for IADL and ADL. The importance of gender and living alone in influencing the receipt of help and also of use of formal agencies is presented using additional data from HALS. Findings from these analyses are also used to project changes in the distribution of health status defined by disability and receipt of help with IADL/ADL and, secondarily, by chronic condition. These analyses imply increases in demand for a range of health related services which will be 50 to 100% greater than the growth in the total elderly population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease* / epidemiology
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Social Support