A Longitudinal Posthumous Study of Letter Writing in a Late Elderly Case This study is a posthumous longitudinal study of consecutive letters written by an elderly woman from age 89 to 93. Findings reveal a consistent linguistic performance during the first 3 years, supporting “normal” status for late elderly writing. She produced clearly written cursive form, intact semantic content, and minimal spelling ... Article
Article  |   January 01, 2015
A Longitudinal Posthumous Study of Letter Writing in a Late Elderly Case
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Angel Ball
    Texas A & M University- Kingsville, Kingsville, TX
  • Jean Neils-Strunjas
    Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA
  • Kate Krival
    Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA
  • Disclosure: Financial: Angel Ball, Jean Neils-Strunjas, and Kate Krival have no financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosure: Financial: Angel Ball, Jean Neils-Strunjas, and Kate Krival have no financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Portions of this data have been presented at the annual convention of the Ohio Speech and Hearing Association in 2005 and the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2005.
    Nonfinancial: Portions of this data have been presented at the annual convention of the Ohio Speech and Hearing Association in 2005 and the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2005.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   January 01, 2015
A Longitudinal Posthumous Study of Letter Writing in a Late Elderly Case
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, January 2015, Vol. 20, 22-33. doi:10.1044/gero20.1.22
History: Received July 29, 2014 , Revised November 22, 2014 , Accepted November 24, 2014
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, January 2015, Vol. 20, 22-33. doi:10.1044/gero20.1.22
History: Received July 29, 2014; Revised November 22, 2014; Accepted November 24, 2014

This study is a posthumous longitudinal study of consecutive letters written by an elderly woman from age 89 to 93. Findings reveal a consistent linguistic performance during the first 3 years, supporting “normal” status for late elderly writing. She produced clearly written cursive form, intact semantic content, and minimal spelling and stroke errors. A decline in writing was observed in the last 6–9 months of the study and an analysis revealed production of clausal fragmentation, decreasing semantic clarity, and a higher frequency of spelling, semantic, and stroke errors. Analysis of writing samples can be a valuable tool in documenting a change in cognitive status differentiated from normal late aging.

Acknowledgements:
This case study was originally presented in part at the Ohio Speech and Hearing Association and the American Speech and Hearing Association conventions. The authors would like to thank the family who contributed the material used in this study. We are also appreciative of the assistance of Jennifer Garrett, now at University of Northern Iowa, for her help with coding reliability. This project was partially supported by funding from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University- Kingsville.
Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.