The aim of the present study was to explore factors associated with (i) the inability to attend a follow-up assessment in the community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework; (ii) mortality; and (iii) institutionalization, across a 5-year period among older people with cognitive impairment identified via an epidemiological survey.
The participants were 198 older people whose score on the Mini-Mental State Examination was below 24, and who were living in our CBPR region in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Baseline data included sociodemographic factors, health-related factors, social factors, and assessments by healthcare professionals. Over the following 5 years we observed what happened to the subjects within the CBPR framework. Bivariate and stepwise multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the factors associated with the inability to attend a follow-up assessment, 5-year mortality, and institutionalization.
Participants who did not attend a follow-up assessment tended to live alone. Being older (>80), living with others, frailty, and the need for rights protection and daily living support were associated with increased mortality. Long-term care insurance certification was strongly associated with institutionalization as a natural consequence of the health-care system. Having dementia and low access to doctors were also positively associated with institutionalization.
Older people with cognitive impairment who are living alone are at higher risk of being overlooked by society. To move toward more inclusive communities, the following are recommended: (i) more interventions focusing on older people living alone; (ii) social interventions to detect daily life collapse or rights violations; and (iii) more support to help people with dementia continue living in the community.