Accession Number : AD1013356

Title :   Social Resources That Preserve Functional Independence After Memory Loss

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,20 Apr 2012,19 Aug 2016

Corporate Author : University of California San Francisco San Francisco United States

Personal Author(s) : Glymour,M M ; Nguyen,Thu ; Rist,Pamela M

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jul 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 88

Abstract : Millions of older veterans will encounter mild to moderate memory or cognitive losses. It is critical to identify strategies to maintain functional independence and maximize quality of life for these individuals. We used a large, diverse, longitudinal study of middle aged and older Americans to identify factors that help individuals preserve functional independence as long as possible, even in the context of declining memory or memory impairment. Memory loss strongly predicted incident limitations in basic and instrumental Activities of Daily Living (I/ADLs). Physical activity predicted lower risk of incident limitations even among those with cognitive impairment, while smoking and depression may increase the risk of incident ADL limitations. Physical activity was also associated with lower risk of future nursing home admission, another powerful indicator of functional independence. Although most family level variables were not associated with independence outcomes, being married and having a spouse with more education and lower depressive symptoms predicted better functional outcomes. Finally, our results indicate that several features of neighborhood of residence, including perceived safety, disorder, and cohesionpredicted IADL outcomes, in individuals with or without memory impairments. Memory impairment increases the risk of disability, but many strategies can stave off dependencies, maximize quality of life, and minimize caregiver burden. These findings lay the ground work for policies regarding housing settings, interventions for management of chronic conditions, and interventions to provide resources for caregivers to improve functional independence in older veterans.

Descriptors :   veterans(personnel) , cognition , memory disorders , memory(psychology) , disabled persons , living standards , resources , social psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE