Gero 100 7380 Contemporary Issues in Aging

Free Essay Database Online

Gero 100 7380 Contemporary Issues in Aging


10/ 25/ 2015

Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Essay: Functional Decline

GERO 100 7380 Contemporary Issues in Aging (2158)


        Functional decline is a loss of independence based on a deterioration in both physical and cognitive skills. When one ages, often times their level of mobility decreases whether by choice or medical impairment; however, this is a hindrance as they grow older. Exercise is fundamental for good health. Cognitive skills can also decline and occurs when the brain is not stimulated enough. That is why it is so important to do manipulative activities and cognitive exercises, such as puzzles, word searches, and crossword puzzles in order to keep the brain stimulated. It is a form of mental exercise.

        According to BMC Geriatrics, historically speaking, functional decline in the elderly stems more from being hospitalized when the patient is immobile, isolated, and lacking interaction with the day-to-day activities. “Thirty-five percent of 70-year old patients experience functional decline during hospital admission in comparison with pre-illness baseline” (JBM de Vos et al., 2012). As a patient reaches the age of eighty-five, the “percentage increases to 50%” (JBM de Vos et al., 2012). Research has shown that a patient is more at risk for functional decline while being hospitalized because of specific risk factors, such as anxiety and depression, accidents at home, or a lack-of caregivers.
        With more elderly in the world than ever before, aging is looked at through demographics. According to the UN Population Division, “1 in 5 people1 in 5 people are expected to be 65 or older by 2035.” This allows for a substantial growth in the elderly population, suggesting a 20 to 25 percent increase based on a physically active retirement community. (Human Aging— A Recent Phenomenon, 2009). Socioeconomic Status (SES) is considered the strongest predictor or determining functional decline and health outcomes. When an individual has a good income, an education, and maintained an occupation during most of his or her life, the lack of functional decline is less likely to exist. However, when Subjective Social Status (SSS) becomes an issue, the individuals social status and stress-level due to inequality causes problems. (Chen et al., 2012). A poor quality of life and mobility creates functional decline.