France, Social PortraitEdition 2018

France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society.

This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection throws the spotlight firstly on people aged 65 or over. Two reports then offer an in-depth analysis of the effects of social and fiscal reforms on household income and inequality. Lastly, around forty themed information sheets summarise the main data and provide European comparisons, to complete this social panorama. More information is available only in French on the French pages of the website.

Insee Références
Paru le : Paru le 20/11/2018
Amélie Carrère and Claire-Lise Dubost
France, portrait social - November 2018

Health status and dependency of senior citizens

Amélie Carrère and Claire-Lise Dubost

The majority of people aged 65 or over live in their home to an advanced age. In 2015, fewer than 2% of people aged 65-74 live in an institutional setting, with this proportion increasing with age to 21% among those aged 85 or over. Consequently, nearly two-thirds of those living in an institution are aged 85 or over.

The reason for institutional living is for the most part a loss of autonomy and deterioration in health, rendering home care no longer suitable. As such, in 2015, some 14% of people aged 65 or over living at home feel in poor or very poor health. Such is the case for 35% of people living in an institution. At home, health status deteriorates markedly with age. In particular, reports of severely restricted activity concern 9% of people aged 65-74 and 39% of those aged 85 or over. In institutions, irrespective of age group, the share of the population reporting severely restricted activity is higher at 63% on average.

Women are more likely to report being affected by diseases or problems relating to the bones and joints or by depression, but men are more likely to report cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Physical limitations are also reported more frequently by women than by men. Psychological well-being is lower among women, but also among people having less frequent social relations and those reporting severe limitations.

Between 2008 and 2015, the perceived health of senior citizens living at home improved, with the share of the population reporting poor health status falling from 22% to 14%, and the reported prevalence of severely restricted activity from 24% to 17%. Likewise, the frequency of long-term illnesses covered by Social Security increased: 43% of people aged 65 or over living at home have at least one long-term illness in 2015, versus 36% in 2008. This may result in part from a change in the administrative system and practices of health professionals, together with an improvement in chronic disease management. In addition, 75% of senior citizens living in an institution have a long-term illness in 2015.

Insee Références

Paru le : 20/11/2018