Predictors of basic self-care and intermediate self-care functional disabilities among older adults in Ghana

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Journal Article
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2018, 77 pp. 81 - 88
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. The number of older adults in Ghana is growing rapidly. Associated with this growth, is the rise in age-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions. However, there is limited knowledge in the Ghanaian context on the effect of chronic diseases on functional disabilities among older adults. In this study, we examine the association between chronic diseases, socioeconomic status, and functional disabilities. Data from 4107 Ghanaian older adults (persons aged 50 years and above) who participated in the World Health Organization's Global Ageing and Adult Health survey (SAGE-Wave 1) were used to fit random effect multivariate logistic and complementary log-log regression. Stroke was significantly associated with difficulty in performing both basic self-care functions and intermediate self-care functions. Hypertension and arthritis, on the other hand, were associated with basic self-care functional disability only. Socioeconomically vulnerable groups such as females, those with less education and low-incomes were more likely to have functional disabilities associated with basic self-care and intermediate self-care activities. In order to reduce functional disabilities among older persons in Ghana, efforts should be aimed at reducing chronic conditions as well as improving socioeconomic status.
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