Prevalence of elder self-neglect in a Chicago Chinese population: The role of cognitive physical and mental health

Xinqi Dong, Melissa Simon

Publication Date: 09/01/2016

Aim: The present study examined the cognitive, physical and psychological characteristics associated with elder self-neglect in a USA Chinese older population. Methods: The Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago is a population-based epidemiological study of Chinese older adults in the greater Chicago area. In total, 3159 Chinese older adults aged 60 years and older were interviewed from 2011 to 2013. Personal and home environment was rated on hoarding, personal hygiene, house in need of repair, unsanitary conditions and inadequate utility. Results: The prevalence of elder self-neglect of all severities was higher among older adults who were with worsening health status, lower cognitive function, lower physical function and more depressive symptoms. Poorer health status (mild self-neglect OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.06–1.35; moderate/severe self-neglect: OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.30–1.77), lower physical function (activities of daily living moderate/severe self-neglect OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.05–1.13; instrumental activities of daily living mild OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03–1.06; instrumental activities of dailiy living moderate/severe OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.04–1.07), lower cognitive function (mild self-neglect OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03–1.07; moderate/severe self-neglect OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.04–1.09) and more depressive symptoms (mild self-neglect OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.02–1.07; moderate/severe self-neglect OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.06–1.11) were significantly associated with increased risk for elder self-neglect of all severities. Conclusion: Older adults with lower levels of cognitive, physical, and psychological health were more likely to report elder self-neglect and its phenotypes. Future research is required to examine risk/protective factors associated with elder self-neglect. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2016; 16: 1051–1062.