Functional impairments

Figures stated below refer to the “Austrian health interview survey 2006/07”.

Functional impairment, such as difficulties in walking, in climbing stairs or with dexterity, and difficulties in performing everyday activities, can impair the quality of life and result in a need for help. Since these disabilities occur primarily in old age and very few people under 60 are affected, only the situation for older people is addressed here.

Problems most frequently occur in the area of mobility. Approximately a quarter of all 60 to 74 year-old women and over half of women over 75 have impairment when bending and kneeling down. The corresponding figures for men are slightly lower: 23% and 29% respectively. While these percentages are substantial, it should be noted that no questions were asked about the availability or use of an aid. 14% of Austrians over 75 (men: 12%, women: 15%) have problems walking despite the use of a stick or other walking aid. 12% of older people (men: 9%, women: 14%) have difficulty climbing stairs (despite the use of a stick or other walking aids).

Almost six in ten women and three in ten men aged 75 and over have problems carrying a full shopping bag (weighing around 5 kg). On the other hand, very few people (less than 3% of the population aged over 75) reported having problems relating to dexterity, wrist rotation or with reaching out or shaking hands.

Results (overview): Problems with functional activities

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