HLTC22H3 Lecture Notes - Dementia, Cardiovascular Disease, Osteoporosis
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HLTB01H3F: Health, Aging and the Life Cycle
Functional Health and Social Support.
A&G: Chapter 8
Functional Health, Health Promotion and Quality of Life
•A person’s state of health is more than the simple sum of physical illness and problems.
•Functional health refers to the ability to take care of personal needs such as bathing, toileting, and
dressing, as well as being able to engage in everyday tasks, including shopping, paying bills, using the
telephone, and navigating the physical and social environment.
•Health promotion programs optimize health and health behaviours and intervene in illness, therefore
decelerating the effects of disease and functional losses
•Quality of life is an overarching construct that includes optimal health and maintence of independence,
but it also has affective and cognitive components.
•There is an increased chance of developing a disability in later life, especially among those over 85
years of age and older.
•In advanced stages, chronic diseases affect many of the everyday activities of the older person
•Sensory problems- make it difficult to hear or see, impairing mobility and social interactions
•Cognitive problems can limit people the ability to complete simple tasks [balancing a checkook]
•Congestive heart failure- can limit the person in making their beds or lifting heavy bags
•Arthritis and Osteoporosis- limit people when driving their cars
•Deterioration in balance and gait is a predictor of worsening health and decline of these abilities has a
major impact on the sensory, social, and mental functions of the older person.
•The loss of sense of balance is a major contributor to falls and fractured hips.
•Functional decline can also result from the cumulative effects of multiple organ dysfunctions; even
modest losses, if they occur in multiple sites, can add to the stress load on the body.
Assessing Functional Health
•Two of the most frequent ways of assessing functional health include: measures of daily living skills i.e.
activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).
•Gait, balance and cognitive function can be assessed as well.
Activities of Daily Living
•ADL six basic functions: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring from bed to chair, continence, eating
•In general, ADLs are measured by asking either the person or the caregiver whether a task can be
completed i.e. “Can you dress yourself?” At other times, it is more appropriate to observe the person
completing a task.
•Answers can be categorized to three things:
oAbility to perform the task independently
oAbility to perform with some assistance
oInability to perform the task even with assistance
•Best way is to observe them at home
•Although few older adults have ADL limitations, these numbers increase with age, especially for
•In general, older people are more likely to need assistance with bathing than any other ADL.
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