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$3.2 Million for Study on Disability and Recovery in Older Persons
To remain independent at home
The National Institute on Aging has awarded Yale School of Medicine researcher Thomas M. Gill, M.D., a $3.2 million MERIT award for outstanding research to continue his "PEP" study to better understand how older persons manage day-to-day activities and remain independent at home.
Titled "Epidemiology of Disability and Recovery in Older Persons," the study includes 754 participants age 70 or older from the greater New Haven area. Over the last eight years, participants have shared their experiences during a series of home interviews and monthly telephone interviews focusing on essential activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and walking.
The findings to date reveal that disability often begins after a serious illness or injury and changes may appear after a hospital stay or even after a few days in bed. Gill, associate professor of medicine/geriatrics has also found that many older people recover from these disabling episodes and resume their usual activities. He said regular exercise helps with the recovery of independence. Four out of ten participants experience chronic pain and they have different strategies to reduce the level of their pain.
"Our results have provided strong evidence to support the idea that disability is a reversible and often recurrent event," said Gill. "PEP addresses an important problem in the lives of many older Americans and their families. By better understanding disability, we hope to develop new ways to maintain and restore independence among older persons."
- More information on the Yale University under www.yale.edu