Characterization of Older Adults Who Attribute Functional Decrements to “Old Age”

  title={Characterization of Older Adults Who Attribute Functional Decrements to “Old Age”},
  author={Jeff Williamson and Linda P Fried},
  journal={Journal of the American Geriatrics Society},
  • J. Williamson, L. Fried
  • Published 1 December 1996
  • Education, Medicine
  • Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
OBJECTIVE: Understanding the contributors to physical disability in older adults is an important component of the national health objective of expanding disability‐free life by the year 2000. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency with which older adults attribute their difficulty performing a number of common daily tasks to “old age” and to identify specific conditions and diseases associated with this attribution. Finally we sought to determine the characteristics that might… 

Chronic disease, functional status, and self-ascribed causes of disabilities among noninstitutionalized older people in Spain.

Cerebrovascular diseases, depression/anxiety disorders, and diabetes were the conditions more clearly related to disability, while a large proportion of subjects attribute their disabilities to osteoarthritis and old age.

Health Status and Activities of Daily Living and Walking in Older People With Intellectual Disabilities

The study's findings mirror patterns reported in the general population of older adults; health status, and not older age, is a predictor of functional impairment.

Indicators of preclinical disability: women's experiences of an aging body.

  • R. Lorenz
  • Medicine
    Journal of women & aging
  • 2009
Analysis of textual data showed that women's bodies provided multiple indicators or symptoms of preclinical disability, which informed the women that their body was out of synch with their environment; conspicuous during social activities; and vulnerable to becoming dependent on others, technology, or assistive devices to accomplish daily activities.

Clinical Pathways to Disability

This paper examines the pathways by which individuals transition from healthy to disabled, and compares two estimates of disabling conditions: those observed in medical claims and conditions indicated by the disabled individual.

Attributing heart attack and stroke to “Old Age”: Implications for subsequent health outcomes among older adults

Endorsement of “old age” as a cause of heart attack/stroke negatively predicted lifestyle behavior change, and positively predicted frequency of physician visits and likelihood of hospitalization over the subsequent 3 years.

When Do Older Adults Become “Disabled”? Social and Health Antecedents of Perceived Disability in a Panel Study of the Oldest Old∗

Using a panel study of older adults (ages 72+), ordered probit and growth curve models of perceived disability over time are estimated and total prevalent morbidity, functional limitations, and cognitive impairment are predictors of perceived Disability.

Correlates of Attributing New Disability to Old Age

OBJECTIVES: To describe women who attribute new disability to old age and to identify demographic, medical, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics that correlate with attributing new disability

Acceptance of Disability and the Risk of Frailty*

Accepting disability as a part of aging is associated with being frail and becoming frail.

Attributing illness to ‘old age:’ Consequences of a self-directed stereotype for health and mortality

It is demonstrated that ‘old age’ attributions were associated with more frequent perceived health symptoms, poorer health maintenance behaviours and a greater likelihood of mortality at 2-year follow-up.

Older adults with chronic lung disease report less limitation compared with younger adults with similar lung function impairment.

Older adults with chronic lung disease were less likely to report significant impairment in their activities compared with younger adults, suggesting they may perceive less limitation.



Functional decline in older adults: expanding methods of ascertainment.

Cross-sectional evidence supports the ability of the proposed method to identify meaningful numbers of people with functional decline who were not identified by standard self-report methods.

Risk of functional decline among well elders.

The Framingham Disability Study: II. Physical disability among the aging.

The Framingham Disability Study was designed to investigate the nature and magnitude of disability among non-institutionalized elderly, and the results support the well known relationship between physical disability and age.

Self‐Reported Causes of Physical Disability in Older People: The Cardiovascular Health Study

OBJECTIVE: To determine the major conditions and symptoms reported to cause difficulty in 17 physical tasks of daily life and the criterion validity of self‐report of diseases given as the causes of

Defining arthritis and measuring functional status in elders: methodological issues in the study of disease and physical disability.

Using a generic definition of "arthritis" and aggregating functional activities may underestimate the impact of osteoarthritis on physical disability in the elderly and obscure the task-specific nature of that relationship.

Age‐Related Trends in Cardiovascular Morbidity and Physical Functioning in the Elderly: The Cardiovascular Health Study

Objective: To describe relationships between age and subclinical cardiovascular disease, manifest chronic disease, and physical functioning and limitations among persons aged 65 years and older, with

The Association Between Quantitative Measures of Dementia and of Senile Change in the Cerebral Grey Matter of Elderly Subjects

The expectation of mental disorder shows a steep increase with advancing chronological age, and beyond 75 years a large part of this increase is accounted for by disorders associated with degenerative changes in the central nervous system for which the authors lack remedies at the present time.