Solitary living in Alzheimer’s disease over 3 years: association between cognitive and functional impairment and community-based services
Authors Wattmo C, Londos E, Minthon L
Received 24 July 2014
Accepted for publication 22 August 2014
Published 14 November 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 1951—1962
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Carina Wattmo, Elisabet Londos, Lennart Minthon
Clinical Memory Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
Introduction: Many individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) live alone, and this figure is expected to increase. This study aimed to describe the cognitive and functional abilities of solitary-living AD patients, and the potential predictors of their usage of community-based services.
Methods: This 3-year, prospective, multicenter study included 1,021 participants with mild-to-moderate AD (Mini-Mental State Examination score, 10–26) treated with a cholinesterase inhibitor in a routine clinical setting. At baseline and every 6 months, patients were assessed using cognitive, instrumental, and basic activities of daily living (ADL) scales, and service utilization was recorded. Logistic regression models were used to predict the usage of community-based services.
Results: At the start of cholinesterase inhibitor therapy (time of AD diagnosis), 355 individuals (35%) were living alone. They were mainly female, older, had more impaired basic ADL capacity, and had a larger number of concomitant medications when compared with those living with family. Regarding the solitary-living patients, lower instrumental ADL (IADL) ability and more medications were independent predictors of usage of home-help services, whereas more impaired IADL at baseline and faster IADL deterioration were predictors of nursing home admission. For those living with family, older age, lower basic ADL, and a greater number of medications predicted home-help services, whereas a larger amount of home help predicted nursing home placement. In addition, female sex was a risk factor for both the utilization of home-help services and nursing home placement. Cognitive ability was not significantly associated with the usage of community-based services.
Conclusion: A large number of AD patients, predominantly females, live alone with severe cognitive and functional impairment. The amount of home-help services used did not reflect cognitive severity, suggesting that home help did not meet the needs related to cognitive deterioration. Increased knowledge of how community-based services can better accommodate the care needs of solitary-living individuals with AD is essential.
Keywords: cognition, activities of daily living, living status, home-help services, nursing home placement, longitudinal study
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]