In a study of nearly 9500 individuals aged 65 and older who did not need help in managing medications or finances, many needed assistance as time went on.
Over 10 years, 10.3% of those aged 65 to 69 needed help managing medications and 23.1% needed help managing finances. These rates rose with age, to 38.2% and 69%, respectively, in those over age 85. Women had a higher risk than men, especially with advancing age. Additional factors linked with an increased risk for both outcomes included a history of stroke, low cognitive functioning, and difficulty with activities of daily living.
The findings highlight the importance of preparing older adults for the likelihood that they will need assistance with managing their medicines and finances.
"These aspects are very important to patients' life and are not traditionally assessed in practice," said Dr. Nienke Bleijenberg, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study. "It is important that professionals ask about these serious daily functions at an early stage to reduce the consequences and burden of these impairments."