Background: This study investigated the trajectories of decline in individual instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) with aging and the
effect of hearing loss, vision loss, or dual sensory loss on these trajectories in community-living frail older persons.
Method: This longitudinal population-based study was conducted in 9,319 community-living frail Dutch persons aged 60 years and older.
Self-reported hearing loss, vision loss, or dual sensory loss and nine IADL were assessed in 15 studies of the Dutch National Care for the
Elderly Program (The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum Dataset). Probabilities of limitations in IADL, odds ratios (per
5 years) for binary, and rate ratios (per 5 years) for score outcomes were calculated using mixed logistic and negative binomial models with
age as the underlying timescale, stratified by sensory loss, and corrected for confounders.
Results: At baseline, the number of IADL limitations was higher in dual sensory loss (2.00 [interquartile range 1.00–4.00]) and vision loss (2.00
[interquartile range 1.00–4.00]) compared to no sensory loss (1.00 [interquartile range 0.00–2.00]) or hearing loss (1.00 [interquartile range
0.00–3.00]). Trajectories of individual IADL showed an increase in limitations in all IADL with age. Household tasks, traveling, shopping,
preparing a meal, and walking showed the most rapid decline. Handling finances, traveling, and walking followed a different pattern of decline
based on sensory loss status.
Conclusions: The age effect on limitations in IADL appears to be similar across all types of sensory loss, with the exception of handling
finances, traveling, and walking. At baseline, persons with self-reported sensory loss had higher levels of self-reported functional limitations.
Trajectories depict a decline in IADL competence with age.