Study addresses safety concerns for older adults with diagnosed/undiagnosed dementia

ScienceDaily. Published online: 23 June 2016

B0005919 The criminal mind
Image source: Rowena Dugdale – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Dementia currently affects some 5 million people in the U.S., and that number is expected to triple by 2050. Having dementia affects the way you think, act, and make decisions.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined how often older adults who have diagnosed and undiagnosed dementia engage in potentially unsafe activities.

The researchers examined 7,609 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 to more than 90-years-old. Based on various cognitive tests, the researchers determined that 1,038 of the people they observed had probable dementia. Of that group, 457 had been diagnosed with dementia and 581 had not been diagnosed with dementia.

Nearly 1,000 participants tested as having “possible” dementia and 5,575 did not have dementia. Of the older adults with probable dementia, the researchers learned that:

  • 23 percent were still driving
  • 31 percent prepared hot meals
  • 22 percent managed their own finances
  • 37 percent managed their own medications
  • 21 percent attended doctors’ appointments alone

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research abstract here

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