Author(s): Strout KA, Howard EP
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Examine how wellness in six dimensions (occupational, social, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual) protects cognition in aging adults. BACKGROUND: cognitive impairment increases with age. Baby boomers represent a significant percent of the population at risk for cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment has a negative impact on nursing resources, health care finances, patient mortality, and quality of life. Wellness and prevention is one focus of Institute of Medicine's vision for the future of nursing. METHOD: Literature was retrieved from Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and MEDLINE. Research that examined the affect of wellness in each of the six dimensions on cognition in older adults was included. RESULTS: One or more of the following may protect cognition in aging: midlife occupation complexity, marriage, social networks, formal education, intellectual activities, physical activity, healthy nutrition, motivational ability, purpose in life, and spirituality. CONCLUSION: Wellness in one or more of the six dimensions may protect cognition in aging. The cognitive protective benefits may increase when wellness in more than one dimension is demonstrated. High wellness in one dimension may protect cognition by compensating for low wellness in another dimension. The interconnectedness of each of the dimensions signifies the importance of evaluating older adults holistically. Wellness throughout the life span may result in improved cognition in aging. APPLICATION: Future research is needed to examine the relationship between the six dimensions of wellness and cognition, and to determine if one dimension of wellness is a significant predictor of cognitive health in aging adults.
This article was published in J Holist Nurs
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy