Sociocultural Care, Service Context, and IADL Dependence Among Very Old European Women

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To explore the impact of the sociocultural care and service context on dependence in instrumental activities of daily living, data were collected with 1448 very old women in 5 European countries. In addition, the influence of socioeconomic indicators was explored, using descriptive statistics and regression analyses. Highly significant differences concerning formal/informal support and use of mobility devices were found, and dependence in cleaning, shopping, and transportation varied significantly among the national samples. For valid interpretations of instrumental activities of daily living assessments, not only the influence of functional limitations has to be kept in mind but also intrinsic disability and the ability to pay for assistance and services. Such knowledge is important, particularly in cross-national studies.

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