• Annex A.3_ Information on chosen indicators for the 3rd domain_ Independent, healthy and secure living
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 3.1 Physical exercise

Definition

Percentage of people aged 55 years and older undertaking physical exercise or sport at least 5 times a week.

Goal (rationale)

This indicator is part of the domain on independent and autonomous living. While the benefits of moderate physical activity in old-age have been widely recognized by research (see Warburton et al, 2006 for a review and WHO's Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health See http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_olderadults/en/index.html. ), performing moderate physical activity can also be seen as an indication of maintaining the necessary balance and mobility to allow people to remain active in their communities and able to function independently.

Survey question

The Eurobarometer (European Commission, 2010b) survey contains two questions on the weekly frequency of physical activity:

  1. How often do you exercise or play sport?
  2. And how often do you engage in a physical activity outside sport such as cycling or walking from a place to another, dancing, gardening…?
    Those replying "5 times a week or more" to any of the above questions have been considered as being physically active for the purpose of this indicator.

Source

Special Eurobarometer 334 (European Commission, 2010b).

Year

October 2009 (Fieldwork)

Notes

While strenuous physical exercise can be harmful in some circumstances, given the questions on which the indicator is based however, it is likely that this refers not to more demanding or physically intense activities, but to those which involve only moderate exercise.

 
3.2 Access to health and dental care

Definition

Percentage of people aged 55 years and older who report no unmet need for medical and dental examination or treatment during the last 12 months preceding the survey.

Goal (rationale)

The indicator aims to capture the importance of enablement through access to health care. For older people to lead an active, healthy and independent life and to be able to actively participate in society it is essential that they can easily access health care services. This is especially important to older age groups as they are more likely to have a need of medical services.

Survey question

The indicator refers to respondents who say that there was no occasion when the person really needed medical or dental examination or treatment but was not able to receive it.

Source

EU-SILC

Year

2010

Notes

The indicator is aimed at assessing access in general to examinations by medical doctors including GPs as well as specialists.
Focus is placed on the actual treatment and not just the formal coverage.

Caveats

Access is conceptualised as a subjective concept of unmet need, that is, responses are based on the person's own assessment (i.e. what constitutes a ´real need´ of medical or dental examination), which means that it can be influenced by personal or cultural biases.

 
3.3 Independent living arrangements

Definition

Percentage of people aged 75 years and older who live in a single household alone or in a couple household.

Goal (rationale)

The indicator aims to capture decisional autonomy regarding one's own life in old age.

Survey question

 

Source

EU-SILC

Year

2010

Notes

This indicator has been selected at the recommendation of the Expert Group as a measure for independent living.

Caveats

Living with other members of the household is not necessarily loss of independence, and multi-generational households can also be seen as independent living.


3.4 Relative median income

Definition

The relative median income ratio is defined as the ratio of the median equivalised disposable income of people aged above 65 to the median equivalised disposable income of those aged below 65.

Goal (rationale)

Independent and autonomous living also incorporates the concept of financial security which is captured by three indicators. The relative median income ratio is one of these. Comparing the median income of the elderly with the rest of the population the indicator aims to measure the adequacy of retirement incomes for older people to maintain their living standard after retirement and to ensure financial security in old age. The indicator becomes particularly important for estimating relative poverty, because the distribution of economic resources (i.e. pension systems can play an important role in addressing poverty amongst the elderly) may have a direct bearing on the extent and depth of poverty.

Survey question

Household disposable income is established by summing up all monetary incomes received from any source by each member of the household (including income from work, investment and social benefits) – plus income received at the household level – and deducting taxes and social contributions paid. In order to reflect differences in household size and composition, this total is divided by the number of 'equivalent adults' using a standard (equivalence) scale, the so-called 'modified OECD' scale, which attributes a weight of 1 to the first adult in the household, a weight of 0.5 to each subsequent member of the household aged 14 and over, and a weight of 0.3 to household members aged less than 14. The resulting figure is called equivalised disposable income and is attributed to each member of the household.

Source

EU-SILC

Year

2010 (Survey year) 2009 (income year)

Notes

It was agreed at the Expert Group meeting that the maximum upper value of 100 will be enforced for this indicator (e.g. for Luxembourg, where the relative median income is higher for 65+, the value for this indicator is fixed at 100) .

 
3.5 No poverty risk

Definition

Percentage of people aged 65 years and older who are not at risk of poverty (people at risk of poverty are defined as those with an equivalised disposable income after social transfers below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 50% of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers).

Goal (rationale)

The indicator is one of the three indicators that aim to measure financial security. Low income is known to have a significant impact on people's health and well-being for it may limit access to basic goods and services, and the possibility to live independently.
Poverty risk using the 50% poverty threshold is assumed to capture the extreme poverty risk for older people. Initially, the 40% poverty threshold was used, but it captured a very small share of population in many countries, and there have also been income mis-measurement issues.

Survey question

See notes for indicator 3.4

Source

EU-SILC

Year

2010 (Survey year), 2009 (income year)

Notes

For the purpose of poverty indicators, the equivalised disposable income is calculated from the total disposable income of each household divided by the equivalised household size; consequently, each person in the household is considered to have the same equivalised income.

Caveats

Poverty is defined in relative rather than absolute terms and is measured in reference to the standard of living in the country in which the individual lives. This, however, may differ significantly across countries depending on their general level of prosperity which should be kept in mind when interpreting the results. Income is defined in monetary terms and excludes transfers such as publicly provided goods and services which might be particularly relevant for older people.

 
3.6 No severe material deprivation

Definition

Percentage of people aged 65 years and older who are not severely materially deprived. Severe material deprivation refers to a state of economic and durable strain, defined as the enforced inability (rather than the choice not to do so) to afford at least four out of the following nine items:

  1. to pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills;
  2. to keep their home adequately warm;
  3. to face unexpected expenses;
  4. to eat meat or proteins regularly;
  5. to go on holiday;
  6. a television set;
  7. a washing machine;
  8. a car;
  9. a telephone.

Goal (rationale)

It is one of the three indicators that aim to measure financial security. The indicator shows the proportion of individuals and households who cannot afford certain goods considered by most people to be necessary. It measures exclusion by directly capturing people's actual standard of living in the country where they live. Moreover, whereas indicators based on current income (i.e. at-risk-of-poverty rate) are affected by transitory shocks, indicators on material deprivation can compensate for such limitations because they tend to be more stable over time and reflect the underlying circumstances of individuals and households.

Survey question

Data on the material items mentioned above is collected using a direct question at the household level.

Source

EU-SILC

Year

2010 (Survey year)

Notes

The indicator is one of the eight headline indicators of the Europe 2020 Strategy. However, it has the limitation that it considers various items of material deprivation with equal weighting (e.g. lacking a TV set is considered equivalent to inability to keep home warm).

 
3.7 Physical safety

Definition

Percentage of people aged 55 years and older who are not worried about becoming a victim of violent crime.

Goal (rationale)

The objective is to assess whether the responding older person feels 'crime, violence or vandalism' has be a problem for his/her household.

Survey question

'Do you have any of the following problems related to the place where you live? - Crime, violence and vandalism in the local area?'

1 Yes
2 No

Source

ESS 2010

Year

2010 (2008 for Latvia and Romania, 2006 for Austria)

Notes

A reference to the area (situated close to the place where the respondent live) is clearly indicated; A clear definition is provided for defining 'Crime'; also the translation of the word 'crime' is carefully checked as it has a different meaning in different languages.
The age group of 55+ is chosen so as to be consistent with the same age group chosen to measure the activities of older population in the 1st domain (employment) and the 2nd domain (Participation in society).
An option was also explored to replace this indicator with an indicator that focuses on the aspect of feeling safe when walking in the neighbourhood area after dark for those aged 65 or older, but such data was not available for all EU countries.

Caveats

The variable is a subjective response and thus affected by different levels of awareness and sensitivity towards area crimes for older people.


3.8 Lifelong learning

Definition

Percentage of people aged 55 to 74 who stated that they received education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Goal (rationale)

The indicator measures all education or training, not only those which are work-related. Therefore, it captures the way individuals acquire key competences in the shape of knowledge, skills and attitudes, which are fundamental for each individual in a knowledge-based society. These competences provide added value for the labour market, social cohesion and active citizenship by offering flexibility and adaptability, satisfaction and motivation.

Survey question

Did you attend any courses, seminars, conferences or received private lessons or instructions within or outside the regular education system within the last 4 weeks
1 Yes
2 No

Source

EU-LFS

Year

2011

Notes

The information collected relates to all education or training whether or not relevant to the respondent's current or possible future job. It includes formal and non-formal education and training that means in general activities in the school/university systems but also courses, seminars workshops, etc. outside the formal education.
Data from surveys of vocational training was not considered since the goal of this indicator is older people's engagement in all types of training and not those linked with employment or vocation.

 







 

 

 

 

 

 

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