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Cognitive function in old and very old residents of a residential facility

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Author: Osterweil, D., Mulford, P., Syndulko, K., Martin, M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1994

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To determine if age, education, and dementia status affect neuropsychological performance in old and very old frail residential care subjects. DESIGN: Descriptive study of performance at the time of preadmission assessment. SETTING: Jewish Home for the Aging, Reseda, California. PARTICIPANTS: 201 applicants to the Jewish Home for the Aging residential care setting. Mean age was 84.7 years; SD was 5.6. Ninety-five subjects were 84 years of age or younger, while 106 were age 85 and older. There were 141 nondemented, 21 demented, and 39 were possibly demented applicants. Levels of education were as follows: 0-4 years: n = 25; 5-8: n = 69; 9-12: n = 77; and, 13-20: n = 23. MEASUREMENTS: Independent variables were age, education, and dementia status. Outcome measures were Folstein MMSE, Inglis P-A Learning Test, Digit Span, Cube Copying, selected Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Exam subtests. RESULTS: Subjects with 0 to 4 years of education scored more poorly on cognitive tests than other subjects. The very old tended to score more poorly than the old. Neuropsychological tests discriminated between those with normal cognitive function, possible dementia, and established dementia. About one-third of nondemented elderly scored below the traditional impairment cut-off of 24 points on the Mini- Mental State Exam. CONCLUSIONS: Questions are raised about how to interpret the poorer cognitive performance of very old and often frail subjects, especially in long-term-care settings where there are fewer demands upon residents whose impairments might otherwise cause them more functional difficulty.

Further Details

Full Title: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Pages: 766-773
Volume: 42
Issue: 7
Accession Number: 13.3.03
Keywords: older, cognitive
Reads: 172
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