The functional performance of 60 minority inner city older persons with dementia was studied as part of a comprehensive multidisciplinary program designed to evaluate the health, function, cognitive, and social status of African-American older persons with memory problems. All subjects were evaluated in their own homes using a combination of performance and caregiver report measures such as the Blessed Dementia Scale and Zarit's Memory and Behavior Problem Checklist. Despite multiple medical and social problems related to low socioeconomic status, most subjects performed basic self-care activities, although the quality of performance was affected. Complex tasks such as cooking, laundry, medication management, and transportation were more severely impaired. The functional performance of study participants living alone was compared with those living with others. Clients living alone demonstrated significantly higher levels of function, despite similar levels of cognitive impairment. The role of the environment in supporting the function of these clients was discussed from the perspective of Person- Environment fit models.
- African-American older persons
- Alzheimer's disease
- activities of daily living