Functional and decision making capacity and quality of life in older adults

Andrea Ribeiro Mirandola, Ângelo José Gonçalves Bós

Abstract


Introduction: The aging population is a challenge of this century, impacting society and imposing needs of structural adjustments. The longevity involves numerous changes in the lives of the elderly and when associated with functional disability may impair functionality, health, precluding an autonomous and healthy life and impairing quality of life. Objective: To study the relationship between functional capacity, ability to make decisions and quality of life of the oldest old. Methods: This study was descriptive analytical cross sectional quantitative research in the oldest-old (80 years or more) of RS. The instruments used were general questionnaire, a survey of interaction between the oldest-old and his/her life, assessment of functional independence, quality of life, and ability to make decisions. Results: The sample consisted of 47 oldest-old, divided in octogenarians (19) and nonagenarians (28). The average of moral psychological phase of octogenarians was classified as conscientious and nonagenarians’ average was conformist. Both groups showed greater loss in decisions related to activities at home. Nonagenarians had worse functional capacity and quality of life when compared to octogenarians. The quality of life was associated with functional capacity and ability to decision making. Conclusions: Investigating factors that may contribute to the oldest-old has higher quality of life is essential for the restructuring of services, public health action plan and providing care with dignity, reaching to maintain functional independence as long as possible, preservation or recovery autonomy and always give priority to a better quality of life of seniors in the final stage of their lives.


Keywords


Aged 80 years and over; Personal autonomy; Quality of life, International classification of functioning, disability, and health.



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