Health Status of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
Objective: To investigate health conditions of older adults who have cognitive impairment.
Design: Descriptive research.
Methodology: This study was conducted in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The sample consisted of 40 cognitively impaired person aged 80 years or more, all of whom lived with their caregivers. The participants’ health conditions were examined following the comprehensive geriatric assessment principle. For cognitive assessment of the participant, data were collected using two methods: 1) a physical examination of each participants to acquire their physical health information; and 2) an interview with each participant’s caregiver(s) to acquire information on each participant’s functional ability, cognition, and social health status. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The participants, whose average age was 85.13 years, were mostly female. The participants’ health conditions examined included their physical health, functional ability, cognitive ability, and social health. In terms of physical health, one-fourth of the participants had lower-thannormal body mass, whilst one-third had higher-than-normal body mass. Most of the participants had hypertension and were medicated for the condition. Eighty percent of the participants had low grip strength, and four of the participants had a history of falls in the previous 6 months. Regarding function ability, it was found that the participants were able to carry out basic daily activities but needed help in performing instrumental activities of daily living. Concerning cognitive health, half of the participants faced a risk of dementia. Finally, concerning social health, half of the participant lived with their children, who were their primary caregivers. Almost all of the participant received the government’s allowances for senior citizens and regularly participated in religious activities, mainly praying and meditation.
Recommendations : The fndings of this study could provide basic information for a community to develop a health status monitoring and assessment system for its older adult members who have cognitive impairment.
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