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Information Reviewed: The Need for Personal Assistance With Everyday Activities: Recipients and Caregivers
Author(s): C. J. Harpine, McNeil, and E. J. Lamas
Source: Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce Current Population Reports: Household Economic Studies, Series P-70, (19)
Date: June 1990
Type: Report

Census Bureau information obtained in the 1985 and 1986 Survey of Income and Program Participation examined the characteristics of people who needed assistance with one or more everyday activities and those who provided care. Of the many highlights from the study were:

  • The proportion of person requiring assistance increased with age.
  • Types of assistance needed included housework help (72.2%), getting around outside the home (63.5%), meal preparation (58.9%), personal care (39.1%), and money management (37%).
  • Within each age category, females required more assistance than males.
  • Among people 65 to 74 years old, males needed about the same amount of personal care assistance as females but less help with meal preparation or housekeeping chores.
  • Assistance needed by race showed blacks (5.7%), whites (4.3%), and Hispanics (3.4%) needed assistance.
  • An association was shown between needing help and living alone and the greatest need for this group was meal preparation (71.9%).
  • The majority of people receiving personal assistance did not pay for their help.
  • Blacks (3.9%) were more likely to provide assistance to a household member than whites (2.9%).
  • People with a below low-income level needed about twice as much assistance as those with higher incomes.
  • Of those requiring assistance, 50.3% needed help with three or more activities, 24.3% with two activities, and 25.4% with one activity. #1896


    Harpine, C. J., McNeil, & Lamas, E. J. (1990, June). The need for personal assistance with everyday activities: Recipients and caregivers. Current Population Reports: Household Economic Studies, Series P-70, (19). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce.

    Keyword: Personal assistance

  • Reviewer: Cindy Higgins

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