Friday, April 8, 2011
Quality of Life for the Oldest Old With or Without Dementia (Quiz, Research, Video 1:06)
How happy will you be when you’re 100 with or without dementia? Little research has been done regarding the quality of life of the oldest of the old, particularly those with dementia. With more people living longer, information concerning this age group is becoming more of a priority. Due to their interactions and observations of those aging in their care, caregivers can also add insightful information on this topic.
The following questions are worth considering regarding this geriatric population. See if you can guess the answers after you read the questions:
Do the oldest old perceive their quality of life as good or not so good?
Are their perceptions of quality different from or the same as the perceptions of their caregivers?
What if the oldest old have dementia? Do they perceive their quality of life as better or worse? Do their caregivers agree or disagree with the oldsters’ perceptions?
If you were guessing the answers as you read the questions, you may be surprised by the results of a Mayo Clinic investigation involving 144 community dwellers with mean ages ranging from 93 to 94.
Although the overall functional ability was higher in groups without dementia, all subjects reported high overall quality of life.
And the caregivers? Caregivers perceived the subjects' overall quality of life to be lower with increasing severity of dementia. The difference in subjects' and caregivers' perception is more pronounced for the groups with dementia. Apparently, quality of life is more strongly correlated with depression than with dementia severity.
The photo above showcases Mississippi Winn, a 113-year-old woman who was believed to have been the oldest living African-American in the country and the world's seventh-oldest person. She died January 14, 2011. This video features a reportedly 130-year-old Russian woman named Antisa who may have been the oldest woman in the world at one time.