Care needs

  • Around a quarter of men (23%) and a third of women (33%) aged 65 and over needed help with activities like dressing, eating, bathing or toileting, called Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. 
  • 22% of men and 35% of women reported needing help with at least one activity such as shopping, cleaning and doing the washing, called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living or IADLs.  
  • 11% of men and 14% of women aged 65 and over had received help with at least one ADL in the last month, and 15% and 30% respectively had received help with at least one IADL. 


  • Those in the lowest income group had the highest proportions receiving help and the greatest need of help.

Informal and formal caring

  • Among people who had received help in the last month, 88% of men and 71% of women had received this solely from informal helpers, like relatives and friends or neighbours. 
  • Help with ADLs was most frequently provided by a spouse or partner, followed by daughters and sons. 
  • Help with IADLs was most frequently given by a spouse or partner for men (47%) and a daughter for women (38%).
  • Around a third of spouses or partners provided 20 or more hours of care a week. 

Aids and equipment 

  • The most frequently mentioned types of equipment used by older people were an alarm to call for help, a grab rail or stair rail and a bath or shower seat. 
  • The majority of people aged 65 and over, 80% of men and 69% of women, did not currently use any form of mobility aid.