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Elderly Population

(Updated June 21st, 2018)

Elder care involves a specific knowledge base and particular approach to understanding and managing elder adult's normal aging, problems and chronic conditions. The term elderly (geriatrics) starts from about age of 65 years. In addition to age, other factors to consider are functional status/reserves that decrease with age, and increase vulnerability or frailty. The older adult may:

  • exhibit one or more geriatric syndromes
  • develop or be living with one or more chronic conditions
  • have a health problem that can lead to another condition or injury
  • experience healthcare in various settings, the hospital, assisted living or at home

These situations can affect the health and function of the older adult and therefore require careful management to ensure proper care and improve or maintain quality of life




Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale

The Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale tool plus description and instructions


Karnofsky Performance Scale Index

The Karnofsky Performance Scale Index allows patients to be classified as to their functional impairment. This can be used to compare effectiveness of different therapies and to assess the prognosis in individual patients. The lower the Karnofsky score, the worse the survival for most serious illnesses.


Mental Status Assessment in Older Adults: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

Gives a description and instructions for the tool along with the tool itself


Katz Index of Independence of Activities of Daily Living

Assessment of functional status


Center for Caring

Center for Caring is an online resource for information on emerging physical, mental and social issues impacting the health of older adults.



Geriatric Syndromes

Describes how to assess older adults for these syndromes and directs nurses to appropriate resources.