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Rev Saude Publica. 2011 Feb;45(1):113-20. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Prevalence and factors associated with home care among older adults.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação Física, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil. gfdelduca@gmail.com



To estimate the prevalence of home care among older adults and to identify associated factors.


Population-based cross-sectional study including 598 individuals aged > 60 years. Subjects were selected through a two-stage cluster sampling strategy in the city of Pelotas, Southern Brazil, between 2007 and 2008. Home care was defined as a positive answer to the following question: "Do you have someone here in your home to take care of you?" Data on potential associated factors for home care were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Poisson regression models with robust variance were used in the crude and in the adjusted analyses. The analysis took into account the clustering of the sample.


The prevalence of home care was 49.5% (95%CI: 44.5;54.5). Among those who have a caretaker, 39.5% reported to be cared for by their spouse, while 4.7% of subjects reported having a professional caretaker. In the adjusted analysis, home care was positively associated with male sex, having a partner, increased age and disability for instrumental activities of daily living. Home care was inversely associated with schooling and physical activity levels.


The high prevalence of home care observed may overburden family members responsible for the most of the care provided. These findings are important for the planning of health interventions aimed the assistance of the elderly and their families. Particular attention should be paid to individuals with advanced age, low educational level and with disability for activities instrumental to daily living.

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