Homebound older persons: prevalence, characteristics, and longitudinal predictors

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Jan-Feb;54(1):55-60. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2011.02.016. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


The current study examines the prevalence and correlates of homebound status aiming to elucidate the predictors and implications of being homebound. Analyzed sample was drawn from two representative cohorts of older persons in Israel, including 1191 participants (mean age=83.10 ± 5.3 years) of the first wave of the Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Aging Study (CALAS) and 418 participants (mean age=83.13 ± 5.2 years) of the Israeli Multidisciplinary Aging Study (IMAS). Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted. Homebound prevalence rates of 17.7-19.5% were found. Homebound participants tended to be older, female, have obese or underweight body mass index (BMI), poorer health, lower functional status, less income, higher depressed affect, were significantly lonelier (in CALAS), and more likely to have stairs and no elevators, than their counterparts. Predictors of becoming homebound include low functional IADL status, having stairs and no elevator (in both cohorts), old age, female gender, and being obese or underweight (in CALAS). The study shows that homebound status is a prevalent problem in old-old Israelis. Economic and socio-demographic resources, environment, and function play a role in determining the older person's homebound status. Implications for preventing homebound status and mitigating its impact with regards to the Israeli context are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Homebound Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prevalence