Race/Ethnicity and Nativity Differentials in New Measures of Disability and Functioning for Older Adults

Jennifer E. Melvin, University of Texas at Austin

Research points to differentials in disability by race/ethnicity nativity and gender. However, disability and declines in health start long before individuals are limited in their ability to perform expected social roles. This study moves beyond traditional measures of disability to examine performance based capacity measures, and enhanced measures of disability, for Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and over using data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). I expect to find race/ethnicity,and nativity differentials in measures of physical capacity, and the ability to perform essential self-care and household activities. The differences I report will have important implications for health services and health policy geared toward a rapidly diversifying aging population.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity