The Gerontologist, Vol 39, Issue 6 720-728, Copyright © 1999 by The Gerontological Society of America
Functional improvement of elderly residents of institutions
D Walk, R Fleishman and J Mandelson
JDC-Brookdale Institute, Jerusalem, Israel. [email protected]
Studies have shown that some elderly persons who suffer decline in
activities of daily living (ADL) functioning experience an improvement.
This phenomenon has been examined mainly among elderly persons in the
community using summary ADL indices. This article examines functional
improvement among 2,527 residents of institutions for semi-independent and
frail elders in Israel in four specific ADLs--bathing, eating, bladder
continence, and mobility--at two points in time, 2 to 4 years apart.
Demographic, functional, and institutional variables were used to predict
functional improvement through logistic regression. The variables were
found to differentially affect each ADL, highlighting two opposite aspects
of institutionalization--deterioration, on the one hand, and rehabilitation
through intervention by highly trained staff, on the other.