Past Issues

Daily Activities and Cognitive Functions in the Elderly

Su-Feng Tseng, Pei-Lin Kuo, Chung-Chieh Lee, Hai-lun Chao, Hui-Fang Chen

Objectives: This study was to examine the relationship between activities in the daily lives of elderly people and the maintenance of cognitive function. Methods: The subjects in this study were community-dwelling senior citizens aged over 65 years living in southern Taiwan. Using a retrospective cross-sectional study approach, the subjects were screened according to cognitive function to assemble a case study group comprising individuals who revealed poorly cognitive function on the Portable Mental Status Questionnaire. A control group was formed using age-and gender-pairing, resulting in having 87 subjects in the case study and 261 subjects in the control group. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to investigate engagement in solitary activities, formal activities, and informal activities. Results: Engagement in either solitary or social activities was found to have buffering effects of cognitive function. Novel arts-related activities showed to reduce the risk of cognitive function declined by about 30% (EF = 0.30); exercising or engaging in community recreational activities decreased the risk by about 17% (EF = 0.17). After controlling for the factors of basic characteristics of the subjects, multivariate analysis showed that participation in diverse daily activities was significantly beneficial in reducing damage to the cognitive function of elder individuals. Conclusion: Solitary activities were found to be relatively effective in protecting cognitive function. Continual engagement in regular daily activities is one of the best ways for senior citizens’ health outcome. Successful aging also requires the support of diverse daily activities. These findings could provide a reference for the development of policy-related to the aging population of Taiwan.
Key Word daily activities, cognitive function, correlation, community elderly
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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