• The Frail elderly: people over age 65 who are physically infirm, very ill, or cognitively impaired.
• Activities of daily life (ADLs): actions that are important to independent living, typically comprising five tasks: eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, & transferring from a bed to a chair; inability to perform these tasks is a sign of frailty.
• Instrumental activities of daily life (IADLs): actions that are important to independent living and that require some intellectual competence & forethought; even more critical to self-sufficiency than ADLs; ex: paying bills, shopping, etc.
Ψ Increasing Prevalence of Frailty Why?
• More people are reaching old age.
• Modern medical technology prolongs life.
• Health care has largely been designed to rescue individuals from acute illnesses, such as cancer, while ignoring the longstanding, chronic complaints of the elderly.
• Measures that could prevent or reduce impairment: everything from adequate nutrition to safe housing do not necessarily reach the frailest elderly.
Ψ Caregivers often feel unfairly burdened & resentful because:
• Other family members tend to feel relieved not to do their share rather than obligated to help out.
• Care-receivers & caregivers often disagree about the care that is needed.
• Social services designed to support caregivers are difficult to obtain.
• Respite care: an arrangement in which a professional caregiver takes over to give the family caregiver of a frail elderly person a break for a few hours each day or for an occasional weekend.
• The best nursing homes recognize the individuality of the elderly & encourage their independence.
Ψ Elder Abuse
• The elderly are very vulnerable to abuse because they depend on others for care and are often confused about many things.
• 87% of the perpetrators are family members
• Most elderly victims endure spousal abuse for years because they are too ashamed to admit it & too dependent to leave.
Growth & Development|
Robert C. Gates
Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. - Robert Browning