Assessing the impact of frailty on cognitive function in older adults receiving home care
Kaffatou, Eleni Maria
MetadataShow full item record
It is commonly accepted that frailty and dementia-related cognitive decline are strongly associated. However, degree of this association is often debated, especially in homebound elders with disabilities. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association of frailty on cognitive function in older adults receiving homecare. A screening for frailty and cognitive function was conducted at 12 primary healthcare settings of the nationally funded program “Help at Home” in Heraklion Crete, Greece. Cognitive function and frailty were assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment questionnaire and the SHARE-f index, respectively. Barthel-Activities of Daily Living and the Charlson Comorbidity Index were also used for the identification of disability and comorbidity, respectively. The mean age of the 192 participants (66% female) was 78.04 ± 8.01 years old. In depth-analysis using multiple linear regression, revealed that frailty was not significantly associated with cognitive decline (frail vs. non-frail (B’=-2.39, p=0.246) even after adjusting for depression and multi-comorbidity. Importantly, as protective factors for cognitive decline progression and thus dementia development, was scientifically correlated with annual individual income >4500 (B'=2.31, p=0.005) - poverty threshold- compared to those with <4500 and, higher education level as compared to Uneducated (B’=2.94, p=0.019). However, depression was associated with cognitive decline regardless of socioeconomic variables. In conclusion, our results suggest that health professionals caring for frail people with cognitive impairment, must focus on early recognition and management of depression.