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Rev Saude Publica. 2018 Oct 25;52Suppl 2(Suppl 2):9s. doi: 10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000650.

Care and functional disabilities in daily activities - ELSI-Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Secretaria Municipal de Saúde. Diretoria de Assistência. Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto René Rachou. Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento. Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.
Universidade de São Paulo. Faculdade de Saúde Pública. São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
Universidade de São Paulo. Escola de Enfermagem. São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada. Diretoria de Estudos e Políticas Sociais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Escola Brasileira de Administração Pública e de Empresas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Universidade Federal do Tocantins. Curso de Enfermagem. Palmas, TO, Brasil.



To investigate the prevalence of demand and provision of care for the Brazilian population with functional disabilities in activities of daily living.


This is a quantitative and descriptive study using baseline data from ELSI-Brazil (Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Aging), a cohort study with a representative sample of the Brazilian population aged 50 years or older (n = 9,412). We considered the demand for care from the self-report of having some difficulty to perform at least one activity of daily life (eating, bathing, going to the toilet, dressing, moving in a room [ambulation], and transferring from chair [transfer]). Care supply was measured by having some help to perform the activity of daily living.


Approximately a quarter of the individuals evaluated (23.2%) reported difficulty in at least one activity of daily living, especially regarding transfer and dressing. Age, schooling, and number of chronic diseases were significantly associated with the difficulty in activities of daily living. Among those who reported difficulty, 35.1% received help of others and 11.8% did not receive (lack of care). The activities with greater lack of care were bathing (13.3%) and transfer (11.7%), which reveals an undignified survival condition. Care remains a family (94.1%) and female (72.1%) issue; despite the important changes that have taken place in society, there is still a lack of care policies. Of the total caregivers, 25.8% reported stopping working or studying to perform this role and only 9.2% were paid (hired ones or family members).


The ELSI-Brazil results reveal the expressive care demand of the Brazilian population aged 50 years or older with functional disabilities on activities of daily living and the lack of care policies aimed at this public.

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