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The assessment of functional ability of elderly nursing home patients by means of the daily activities inventory after the application of selected stimulation methods

Magdalena Strugała, Dorota Talarska

Med Sci Tech 2007; 48(4): RA261-264

ID: 881579

Introduction: It is extremely important for older person nursing home patients to engage in various activities providing intellectual and physical stimulation and to participate in intense interpersonal communication. Otherwise, patients’ fitness and independence decreases more rapidly and, as a result, the dependence on others increases. According to other authors, nursing home residents have a much worse motor ability. The decreased fitness of the residents resulted probably from the fact that they were assisted by the staff in even the simplest self-care activities. The aim of this study was to answer the following question: Has the general ability of the older people of the nursing home changed as a result of the applied selected methods of mental and physical stimulation? Material and methods: The study included 50 patients of a nursing home. The tool used to assess the general ability of the older people was the daily activities inventory. The level of a person’s general ability determined by means of the inventory was a starting point for selecting appropriate forms of stimulating a patient. Stimulation methods used to increase patients’ mobility included occupational therapy, kinesitherapy, therapeutic horticulture and music therapy. The type of activities depended on mental and physical capabilities of the patients. Results: The development of their self-care skills and increase of their independence resulted mostly from kinesitherapy and ergotherapy, with the latter being the most popular stimulation method. The improved mood was the result of therapeutic horticulture and music therapy. The music therapy proved to be the optimum stimulation form for the older people. It was used in order to improve their physical and mental state. Conclusions: Therapies which turned out the most effective in improving physical fitness and self-care abilities were manual tasks and kinesitherapy. The effect on independence will only be maintained if all members of the nursing home therapeutic team continue to work with the elderly patients. (Clin Exp Med Lett 2007; 48(4): 261-264)

Keywords: daily activities inventory, stimulation, advanced age

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