The study aimed to describe the functional performance and the presence of chronic diseases in 164 elderly residents in long-stay institutions in Recife-PE, Brazil .A socio-demographic questionnaire, the Functional Independence Measurement, Lawton's scale and the Mini-Mental test were applied. Analysis of variance was used to assess differences in performance. The elders were predominantly single, women, and with low educational level. Among the reasons for admission stood out: abandonment, fragile health and living in the streets. It was found a high percentage of chronic diseases; 70% of elders were dependent for activities of daily living; and all were dependent for instrumental activities. Dementia was the disease that most affected functionality, followed by the osteoarticulares diseases and mental disorder. It was highlighted, among the impaired activities, the use of stairs and the sphincter control, with eating as the best performance. It was found that the institutionalized elderly showed functional impairment and social vulnerability.
Aged; Chronic Diseases; Day-to-Day Activities; Institutionalization