Vulnerability in the elderly
Authors: Ana Popescu, Gabriela Soric, Victoria Federiuc, Vitalie Ojovan
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Background: Aging process involves an increased risk for the development of vulnerability, because senescence is a process characterized by a multitude of changes that influence the living conditions and health of the individuals. In geriatrics, the term “vulnerability” implies a multidimensional aspect, among which, multimorbidity, functional incapacity, socio-economic and cognitive problems in the elderly. The main objective of the article is to systematize data from the literature through the analysis of the concept and prevalence of vulnerability, assessed by the score Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 (VES-13) in the elderly. For this purpose, publications from the database GoogleSearch, PubMed, Hinari, etc. were analyzed. The information was systematized, highlighting the main aspects of the contemporary vision of the last 5 years.A series of studies (USA, Brazil, etc.) revealed a high prevalence of vulnerability in the elderly according to the VES-13 score, it was estimated in respondents aged > 65 years, between 40-50% of cases were vulnerable people, with a score ≥ 3 p. The vulnerability of the elderly results from different conditions, correlated with each other, especially biological, social and genetic factors. There was a functional decline between 13 and 24% of cases, especially in the elderly over 75 years, and an association with health problems, mobility and low autonomy in over 50% of cases, with a poor quality of life and increased risk of institutionalization. Conclusions: Vulnerability assessment measures are important for identifying older people at high risk of deteriorating health, which is an important target for interdisciplinary intervention.