Cognitive Rehabilitation in the Frail Elderly Patient: Never Too Old to Learn?

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It is widely held that cognitive changes occur with aging; yet the impairments and functional correlates remain poorly understood. In the frail elderly patient, where safety is an issue both in basic mobility and in ADLs, cognitive function is often overlooked. Fall prevention does not routinely include cognitive screening, despite the fact that safe mobility depends on cognitive skills to negotiate obstacles and tolerate distractions. This article provides an overview of the effects of aging on cognition and introduces a framework for evaluating and treating cognition. Recommendations for research in this area are provided, as most current interventions are not evidence-based.

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