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 Table of Contents 
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 274  

Eighty-eight year-old demented woman lives alone independently

1 Division of Internal Medicine, Aoikai-Sendai Hospital, Sendai, Japan
2 Department of Education and Support for Regional Medicine; Department of Kampo Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan

Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Koh Iwasaki
Long Term Care Facility Aoinosono.East Sendai, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_69_17

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How to cite this article:
Iwasaki K, Takayama S. Eighty-eight year-old demented woman lives alone independently. J Family Med Prim Care 2018;7:274

How to cite this URL:
Iwasaki K, Takayama S. Eighty-eight year-old demented woman lives alone independently. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Sep 27];7:274. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2018/7/1/274/231586

Dear Editor,

An 88-year-old female with a Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE)[1] score of 14 lives alone independently in Ogatsu ward, Ishinomaki, Japan. She has hypertension, and she is taken care of by our visiting care service. One day, we found that she could not take her drugs in a punctual manner. Drugs that had been left for 120 days or more were found in her house. She lives alone, cooks, washes, cleans the house, and also takes care of her garden. The Barthel Index [2] was fully scored, showing that her basic activity of daily living (ADL) was independent, whereas her instrumental ADL (IADL) was 4/8 on the IADL scale by Lawton and Brody.[3] Although she could not perform a 3-word recall and calculation in the MMSE, she can call telephone to her daughter and pay the doctor's fee correctly. She never travels far by herself as she cannot drive a car.

The care team discussed the reason of her independence and the plan on how to provide care for her. We concluded that she was independently capable of living in her own home in her small, very familiar community. She has three close, familiar friends nearby to frequently chat and drink tea with. Situated near the city of Ishinomaki – which was destroyed by the great tsunami in 2011 – her small community is safely located far from the city center and on a hilltop. These very stable circumstances keep her ADL independent. Olsen et al. also pointed out that the quality of life of home-dwelling individuals with dementia was better than that of nursing home residents.[4] Therefore, we decided to keep her surroundings the same as long as possible, monitored carefully by a team. Dementia is a severe socio-medical problem, but she suggests to us the possibility of and means to keeping life independent for demented elderly persons.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR. “Mini-mental state”. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 1975;12:189-98.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mahoney FI, Barthel DW. Functional evaluation: The barthel index. Md State Med J 1965;14:61-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
Lawton MP, Brody EM. Assessment of older people: self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. Gerontologist 1969;9:179-86.  Back to cited text no. 3
Olsen C, Pedersen I, Bergland A, Enders-Slegers MJ, Jøranson N, Calogiuri G, et al. Differences in quality of life in home-dwelling persons and nursing home residents with dementia - A cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatr 2016;16:137.  Back to cited text no. 4


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