Risk Factors for Harm in Cognitively Impaired Seniors Who Live Alone: A Prospective Study
ABSTRACT To identify risk factors for harm due to self-neglect or behaviors related to disorientation in cognitively impaired seniors who live alone that can be used in primary care.
Inception cohort followed prospectively for 18 months.
Participants were referred by their primary care physicians and community service agencies or were patients of several medical units of a large teaching hospital.
One hundred thirty-nine community-residing participants, aged 65 and older who scored less than 131 on the Dementia Rating Scale and lived alone.
Baseline Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE); a social resources questionnaire; presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cerebrovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and medication use were examined as predictors of incident harm. Informants and primary care physicians provided information about the nature of any harm at 3-month intervals over an 18-month period. An incident of harm was included if it occurred as the result of self-neglect or behaviors related to disorientation, resulted in physical injury or property loss or damage, and required emergency community interventions.
Based on the consensual agreement of four raters, 21.6% had an incident of harm. The proportional hazards model was highly significant (P<.001) and supported by bootstrapping estimates. Four variables were significantly predictive of time to incident harm: perception of fewer social resources, poorer performance on MMSE, presence of COPD, and presence of cerebrovascular disorders.
Predictors of incident harm can be identified in the primary care setting and provide direction for the early identification of those at highest risk. Validation of findings with a new cohort is necessary.
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ABSTRACT: Self-neglect is a serious and growing problem among older adults. A 2004 survey from Adult Protective Services (APS) showed that adults age 60 or older were named in 85,000 reports of self-neglect from 21 states (Naik, Lai, Kunik, & Dyer, 2008; Teaster, Dugar, Mendiondo, Abner, & Cecil, 2006). Although rehabilitation nurses are obligated to uphold the autonomy of older adults and strengthen their independence, dilemmas result when people's poor health behaviors put them or others at risk for negative consequences. When making decisions about nursing actions related to self-neglecting elderly people, the basic principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and capacity must be considered. The purpose of this article is to discuss major ethical perspectives related to self-neglect among older adults.Rehabilitation nursing: the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses 03/2011; 36(2):60-5. DOI:10.1002/j.2048-7940.2011.tb00067.x · 0.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Summary Background. Psychiatric disorder is common amongst elderly patients in medical and surgical wards but frequently goes underdiagnosed. This group of patients also presents with needs that are complex and varied and which, therefore, can be difficult to identify. The aim of this study was to identify met and unmet needs of patients referred to old age liaison psychiatric services.