More than one quarter of over-75s have serious problems with one or more daily activities, e.g. go up and down the stairs or getting (un)dressed. These problems are more frequent among women than among men. Chronic disorders are also more frequently found in the older population, but most people suffering from one or more chronic diseases do not have problems with their daily activities.
More physical limitations at higher age
Approximately one in eight people aged 55 and older living in private households had severe problems with one or more daily activities in 2011. The women-to-men ratio was 2 to 1. Among 55 to 75-year-olds, these problems are confined to a relatively small group, but among over-75s more than one quarter have difficulty performing daily activities. With more than one third, the proportion is even higher among female over-75s, but they are on average older than men in the age category over 75.
Limited in their general daily activities, 2011
More disorders among older people
Last year, 72 percent of over-55s suffered from chronic disorders. A significant part in this age bracket suffer from more than one disorder versus 60 percent of over-75s. Older women more often have one or more chronic diseases than older men.
The most common chronic disorders for women over the age of 55 are degenerative joint disease (39 percent) and high blood pressure (36 percent). In the over-55 male population, high blood pressure (30 percent), followed by degenerative joint disease (22 percent) are most frequently found.
Chronic disorders, 2011
Disorder does not always reduce the ability to perform daily activities
People suffering from one or more chronic disorders have more difficulty performing daily tasks than people free form chronic disorders. Among over-75s, 44 percent suffer from three or more chronic diseases. Yet, the majority of them indicate that they have no or very few problems when it comes to performing daily activities.
Physical limitations in daily activities and chronic disorders, 2011