Review
Published: 2018-03-15

Important considerations in the assessment of seniors who are aging with cognitive or intellectual disabilities

School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Aging Cognitive impairment Intellectual disability Functional assessment

Abstract

The primary objective of the present review is to summarize key findings on the assessment approaches
and interviewing techniques that best meet the functional capacity of elderly individuals who are aging with
cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities. Assessment techniques are not always relevant to the population of
seniors who are aging with cognitive impairment or intellectual disabilities, because these individuals are often
unable to describe or communicate their needs effectively. This makes interviewing such clients problematic,
not only for healthcare professionals, but also for everyone who is engaged in providing support and care to
seniors who are aging with such disabilities. A structured literature search was conducted in PubMed, MedLine
and CINAHL from 1990 until August 2017 using terms such as “elderly”, “cognitive impairment”, “intellectual
impairment” and other synonyms. A total of 64 articles were identified and further analyzed. Based on the
current body of literature, assessment of seniors who are aging with any degree of cognitive and/or intellectual
impairments is complex and there is no gold standard. However, there are several strategies that can be helpful
in clinical practice and research. Further research is needed on both cognitive and intellectual disabilities to
establish a sound evidence for description, screening for risk factors or undetected problems, setting rehabilitation
goals, and monitoring treatment progress.

Affiliations

A. Jahan

School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada

M. Ismayilova

Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada

Copyright

© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2018

How to Cite

[1]
Jahan, A. and Ismayilova, M. 2018. Important considerations in the assessment of seniors who are aging with cognitive or intellectual disabilities. JOURNAL OF GERONTOLOGY AND GERIATRICS. 66, 1 (Mar. 2018), 36-38.
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