OLDER ADULTS WITH COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT LIVING IN MALAYSIAN NURSING HOMES ??? HAVE WE MET THEIR NEEDS?
Azlina Wati Nikmat, Syed Hassan Almashoor
Objective: Transition of people with cognitive impairment to a nursing home is often an option when their disease progresses and their needs become too complex. The aim of this study was to identify the needs of people with cognitive impairment living in nursing homes and factors associated with a higher level of needs. Methods: A cross sectional survey involving 110 respondents with cognitive impairment aged ≥60 was carried out. Respondents were assessed using the Short Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE), Camberwell Assessment of Needs for Elderly (CANE), Barthel Index (BI), Friendship Scale (FS), and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Results: Respondents with cognitive impairment had a mean of 2.81 (SD=3.72) for unmet needs and 11.95 (SD=3.14) for the met needs, with a higher mean suggesting a better outcome measure. The most frequent unmet needs were intimate relationships (66.40%), company (40.00%), and daytime activity (34.50%). Unmet needs were significantly associated with depression, social isolation, and cognitive impairment. Conclusion: Most of the needs of people with cognitive impairment in nursing homes were fulfilled, except in the social areas. Therefore, attention should be given to improving the care system, which emphasizes collaboration between people with cognitive impairment, family members, community, and government in helping to reduce the risk of loneliness in those with cognitive impairment.