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To explore food perceptions among grandparents and understand the influence of these perceptions on food choice for the younger generations in their family.
Qualitative methodology, thematic analysis of the transcripts from fourteen focus groups.
Grandparents in the southern region of the United States.
Participants were fifty-eight Black, Hispanic, and White grandparents, predominantly women (72%), ranging in age from 44–86 years (mean age = 65·4 (sd 9·97) years).
Grandparents’ perceptions related to personal food choice were related to health issues and the media. Grandparents’ perceived influence on their children’s and grandchildren’s food choices was described through the themes of proximity and power (level of influence based on an interaction of geographic proximity to grandchildren and the power given to them by their children and grandchildren to make food decisions), healthy v. unhealthy spoiling, cultural food tradition, and reciprocal exchange of knowledge.
Our results highlight areas for future research including nutrition interventions for older adults as well as factors that may be helpful to consider when engaging grandparents concerning food decisions for younger generations to promote health. Specifically, power should be assessed as part of a holistic approach to addressing dietary influence, the term ‘healthy spoiling’ can be used to reframe notions of traditional spoiling, and the role of cultural food tradition should be adapted differently by race.
This study aimed to systematically review the use of social networking sites (SNSs) from an older adult perspective (all papers had an average sample age of 65+ and samples ranged in age from 50 to 98). Characteristics of older adult SNS users, incentives and disincentives for use, and the relationship between SNS use, wellbeing and cognitive function were explored. From a systematic search, 21 papers met inclusion criteria and were subjected to a quality review. Paper quality was often low or medium, as rated by a standard quality assessment framework. Results indicated that older adult SNS users were more likely to have particular characteristics, including being female and younger. The main incentive for use was to maintain contact with family and friends. Disincentives included privacy concerns and lack of perceived usefulness. The relationship between SNS use, wellbeing and cognitive function was inconclusive. SNS use is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that needs to be understood in the context of broader communication practices, individuals’ social relationships, and individual preferences and characteristics.
A healthful diet and sufficient physical activity (PA) are related to several health outcomes. However, there is a paucity of data on the association between PA and dietary pattern with life satisfaction (LS) in the older adults aged ≥65. This study investigated the independent and combined association of PA and Baltic Sea diet (BSD) score with LS in older Finnish women. Subjects were 554 women aged 65-72 years from the OSTPRE-Fracture Prevention Study. Women reported the hours and type of PA and lifestyle factors via questionnaires, and dietary intake using three-day food record. Adequate PA was considered according to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation: PA=0, 0<PA<2·5 and ≥2·5 hours/week. BSD score was categorized based on <13 or ≥13 as median score. LS was self-reported using LS scale with four-items on current ‘interest’, ‘happiness in life’, ‘ease of living’ and ‘feelings of loneliness’ (range: 4-20, lower score representing higher satisfaction). After adjusting for the confounders, PA was statistically significantly associated with lower LS score (coefficient β=-0·207, P=0·001), where women with PA=2·5 h/week had the lowest LS score followed by women with 0<PA<2·5 and PA=0 (P for trend=0·020). Association between BSD and LS was not significant. Only among women with BSD score=13, but not BSD<13, PA=2·5 h/week was statistically significantly associated with lower LS score (mean=9·3), followed by 0<PA<2·5 (mean=9·9) and PA=0 groups (mean=11·8) (P for trend= 0·033). In conclusion, adequate PA according to WHO recommendation independently and in combination with higher BSD score maybe associated with higher LS in older women.
Interprofessional collaboration is understood to improve efficiencies and quality of care but is associated with challenges such as professionals’ differing routines, knowledge, and identities, as well as professional hierarchies and time constraints. Given these challenges, there is limited understanding of how professionals collaborate effectively in providing patient-centred care. This study, with a convergence triangulation mixed-methods study design, explored interprofessional staffs’ perceptions of interprofessional collaboration and patient-centred care when working with hospitalized older adults. Thirty-six staff responded to a survey which included the Patient-Centred Care measure and the Modified Index of Interdisciplinary Collaboration; we also interviewed 14 nursing staff. Although all scores suggested a high value was placed on interprofessional collaboration, scores were low related to activities that facilitated team processes. We identified three themes from the data: knowing the patient/family, functional needs, and communication processes. Staff identified daily rounds with interprofessional teams as supportive of interprofessional collaboration and patient-centred-care.
Given the rapidly expanding older adult population, finding health care approaches that support older adults to age in their choice of place, with an accompanying philosophical re-orientation of health services, is becoming more urgent. We studied the Home Care Home First – Quick Response Project to understand how clients over age 75 and their family caregivers perceived the enhanced community-based services delivered through Home First. Using interpretive description as the methodological design, we explored the experiences of eight older adults and 11 family caregivers; all older adults were enrolled in Home First due to a significant change in their health status. We identified four themes: growing older in chosen places with support, philosophy of care, processes of Home First, and the significance of Home First for clients. Overall, clients and family caregivers responded positively to the Home First services. Clients valued their independence and growing older in places they had specifically chosen.
Decision-making (DM) is a component of executive functioning. DM is essential to make proper decisions regarding important life and health issues. DM can be impaired in cognitive disorders among older adults, but current literature is scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the DM profile in participants with and without cognitive impairment.
Cross-sectional analysis of a cohort study on cognitive aging.
143 older adults.
University-based memory clinic.
Patients comprised three groups after inclusion and exclusion criteria: healthy controls (n=29), mild cognitive impairment (n=81) and dementia (n=33). Participants were evaluated using an extensive neuropsychological protocol. DM profile was evaluated by the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between age, sex, educational level, estimated intelligence quotient (IQ), cognitive disorders, depressive or anxiety symptoms, and the DM profiles.
The most prevalent DM profile was the vigilant type, having a prevalence of 64.3%. The vigilant profile also predominated in all three groups. The multinomial logistic regression showed that the avoidance profile (i.e. buck-passing) was associated with a greater presence of dementia (p=0.046) and depressive symptoms (p=0.024), but with less anxious symptoms (p=0.047). The procrastination profile was also associated with depressive symptoms (p=0.048). Finally, the hypervigilant profile was associated with a lower pre-morbid IQ (p=0.007).
Older adults with cognitive impairment tended to make more unfavorable choices and have a more dysfunctional DM profile compared to healthy elders.
We examined race differences in the DSM-IV clinical significance criterion (CSC), an indicator of depressive role impairment, and its impact on assessment outcomes in older white and black women with diagnosed and subthreshold depression.
We conducted a secondary analysis of a community-based interview study, using group comparisons and logistic regression.
Lower-income neighborhoods in a Midwestern city.
411 community-dwelling depressed and non-depressed women ≥ 65 years (45.3% Black; mean age = 75.2, SD = 7.2) recruited through census tract-based telephone screening.
SCID interview for DSM-IV to assess major depression and dysthymia; Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale to define subthreshold depression (≥16 points); Mini-Mental State Examination, count of medical conditions, activities of daily living, and mental health treatment to assess health factors.
Black participants were less likely than Whites to endorse the CSC (11.8% vs. 24.1%; p = .002). There were few race differences in depressive symptom type, severity, or count. Blacks with subthreshold depression endorsed more symptoms, though this comparison was not significant after adjustments. Health factors did not account for race differences in CSC endorsement. Disregarding the CSC-eliminated differences in diagnosis rate, race was a significant predictor of CSC endorsement in a logistic regression.
Race differences in CSC endorsement are not due to depressive symptom presentations or health factors. The use of the CSC may lead to underdiagnosis of depression among black older adults. Subthreshold depression among Blacks may be more severe compared to Whites, thus requiring tailored assessment and treatment approaches.
The current study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of two geriatric anxiety measures: the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) and the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS). This study also aimed to determine the relationships of these measures with two measures of functional ability and impairment: the Barkley Functional Impairment Scale (BFIS) and the Everyday Cognition Scale (E-Cog).
Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were used to analyze the factor structures of the GAI and GAS in older adults. Tests for dependent correlations were used to examine the relationship between anxiety scales and functioning.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
348 participants (aged 55–85, M= 62.75 (4.8), 66.5% female) with no history of psychosis or traumatic brain injury.
CFAs supported the previously demonstrated bifactor solution for the GAI. For the GAS, the previously demonstrated three-factor model demonstrated a good-to-excellent fit. Given the high correlation between the cognitive and affective factors (r =.89), a bifactor solution was also tested. The bifactor model of the GAS was found to be primarily unidimensional. Tests for dependent correlations revealed that the GAS demonstrated stronger relationships with measures of self-reported functional impairment than the GAI.
The current study provides further psychometric validation of the factor structure of two geriatric anxiety measures in an older adult sample. The results support previous work completed on the GAI and the GAS. The GAS was more strongly correlated with self-reported functional impairment than the GAI, which may reflect differences in content in the two measures.
The present study aimed to explore the associations between social life and adherence to a healthy dietary pattern, the Mediterranean diet (MD), in a population-representative cohort of older people.
Cross-sectional study. Adherence to the MD was evaluated by an a priori score; tertiles of the score, indicating low, medium and high adherence, were used in the analyses. Social life was assessed by a questionnaire evaluating participation in leisure-time activities and the number of social contacts; primary occupation was also recorded and job characteristics were further explored.
Community-dwelling older adults.
Adults from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD) study (n 1933; age range 65–99 years).
Each unit increase in the number of social contacts/month and in the frequency score of intellectual, social and physical activities was associated with a 1·6, 6·8, 4·8 and 13·7 % increase in the likelihood of a participant being in the high MD adherence group, respectively. The analysis by age group revealed that younger elderly participants had a 1·4, 8·4 and 11·3 % higher likelihood to be in the high adherence group for each unit increase in the number of social contacts/month and in the frequency score of engagement in intellectual and physical activities, respectively. Similar associations were found for older elderly participants with high compared with low MD adherence, except for the intellectual activities.
The present results suggest that high MD adherence is associated with good social life, suggesting a clustering of health-promoting lifestyle factors in older adults.
To investigate, through a questionnaire, older adults’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics, knowledge, attitudes and practices in terms of food safety and healthy diet; and to develop dietary and hygiene indices able to represent participants’ nutritional and food safety behaviour, exploring their association with demographic and socio-economic factors.
One-year cross-sectional study.
Gemelli Teaching Hospital (Rome, Italy).
People aged ≥65 years, Italian speaking, accessing the Centre of Ageing Medicine.
Mean age of the sample was 74 (sd 7·7) years. Subjective perception of a safe diet was high: 64·2 % of respondents believed they have a balanced diet. Interviewees got informed about proper nutrition mainly from television, magazines, newspapers, Internet (29·9 %) and from health professionals (34·8 %) such as dietitians, whereas 15·4 % from general practitioners. Regarding food safety, 33·8 % of participants reported to consume expired food, even more than once per month; between 80 and 90 % of participants reported to follow food safety practices during preparation and cooking, even though 49·3 % defrosted food at room temperature. Calculated dietary and hygiene indices showed that the elderly participants were far from having optimal nutritional and food safety behaviours.
These results suggest it is necessary to increase the awareness of older adults in the matter of healthy diet and food safety. Specific and targeted educational interventions for the elderly and their caregivers could improve the adoption of recommended food safety practices and safe nutritional behaviours among older adults.
The global population including Canada’s is aging, which demands planning for housing that will support older adults’ quality of life. This mixed-method study is the first Canadian study to examine the impact of cohousing on older adults’ quality of life and involved 23 participants. The older adults rated their quality of life very high, especially in the environmental, physical, and psychological domains of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL_BREF) survey; quality of life in the social domain was rated low, which was surprising in light of the focus group data findings. Four themes of “belonging in a community”, “life in the community”, “changes associated with aging,” and “aging in place” emerged from the qualitative data to explain factors that influence older adults’ quality of life. This research provides foundational, strong evidence that seniors’ cohousing is an innovative housing solution that can support older adults’ quality of life.
Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass/strength) burdens many older adults – hospitalized older adults being particularly vulnerable. Treating the condition, protein-supplementation (PrS) and resistance-training (RT) may act synergistically. Therefore, this block-randomised, double-blind, multicentre intervention study, recruiting geriatric patients >70 years from three Medical Departments, investigated the effect of PrS combined with RT during hospitalization and 12 weeks after discharge. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1) to receive PrS (totally 27.5 g whey protein/day, ≈2000 kJ/day) or iso-energetic placebo-products (<1.5 g protein/day), divided into two servings/day to supplement habitual diet. Both groups were engaged in a standardized, progressive low intensity/volume RT-program for the lower-extremities (hospital: supervised daily/after discharge: self-training 4x/week). From April 2016 to September 2017, 2351 patients were screened, 462 were eligible, and 165 included. 14 were excluded and 10 dropped-out, leaving 141 participants in the ITT-analysis. The average total protein intake during hospitalization/after discharge was 1.0 (0.8-1.3)/1.1 (0.9–1.3) g/kg/d (protein-group) and 0.6 (0.5–0.8)/ 0.9 (0.6–1.0) g/kg/d (placebo-group). Both groups improved significantly for the primary and secondary endpoints of muscle mass/strength, functional measurements, and quality-of-life, but no additional effect of PrS was seen for the primary endpoint (30-s Chair-stand-test, repetitions, median (Q1,Q3) changes from baseline: (standard-test: 0 (0,5) (protein-group) vs. 2 (0,6) (placebo-group) & modified-test: 2 (0,5) (protein-group) vs. 2 (-1,5) (placebo-group)) or any secondary endpoints (Mann-Whitney-U tests, P>0.05). In conclusion, PrS increasing total protein intake by 0.4 and 0.2 g/kg/d during hospitalization and after discharge, respectively, does not seem to increase the adaptive response to low intensity/volume RT in geriatric medical patients.
Despite the well-documented health benefits of physical activity in older adults, participation levels remain low. With rapid global population ageing, intensive efforts are needed to encourage higher levels of participation to ameliorate the negative effects of physical inactivity for older individuals and society as a whole. The aim of this qualitative study was to inform future physical activity promotion interventions by examining factors contributing to low activity levels among older people undertaking less than half the recommended level of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 102 (65% female) community-dwelling Western Australians aged 60+ years (mean = 71.52, standard deviation = 6.26) who engaged in ⩽75 minutes of MVPA per week as measured by accelerometers. Several modifiable and unmodifiable barriers were identified, of which poor health featured most prominently. Lifetime physical inactivity, caring duties, low motivation, misperceptions of physical activity and ageing, and a lack of affordable and attractive options were the other barriers identified. The results suggest that strategies are needed to raise awareness of current physical activity guidelines, normalise engagement in MVPA throughout the lifespan, develop initiatives to motivate participation, improve the availability of affordable physical activity programmes that are attractive to this population segment, and facilitate participation among those with intensive caring responsibilities.
Maintaining good cognitive function with aging may be aided by technology such as computers, tablets, and their applications. Little research so far has investigated whether internet use helps to maintain cognitive function over time.
Two population-based studies with a longitudinal design from 2001/2003 (T1) to 2007/2010 (T2).
Sweden and the Netherlands.
Older adults aged 66 years and above from the Swedish National Study on Ageing and Care (N = 2,564) and from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (N = 683).
Internet use was self-reported. Using the scores from the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) from T1 and T2, both a difference score and a significant change index was calculated. Linear and logistic regression analysis were performed with difference score and significant change index, respectively, as the dependent variable and internet use as the independent variable, and adjusted for sex, education, age, living situation, and functional limitations. Using a meta-analytic approach, summary coefficients were calculated across both studies.
Internet use at baseline was 26.4% in Sweden and 13.3% in the Netherlands. Significant cognitive decline over six years amounted to 9.2% in Sweden and 17.0% in the Netherlands. Considering the difference score, the summary linear regression coefficient for internet use was −0.32 (95% CI: −0.62, −0.02). Considering the significant change index, the summary odds ratio for internet use was 0.54 (95% CI: 0.37, 0.78).
The results suggest that internet use might play a role in maintaining cognitive functioning. Further research into the specific activities that older adults are doing on the internet may shine light on this issue.
To determine the extent of service disruption among home health agencies impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Structured interviews with optional open-ended questions were conducted with home health agencies in and around Houston, Texas. A random sample of 277 agencies was selected and contacted via telephone during the study period, from February to May of 2018.
Only 45% of 122 participating agencies indicated that their offices were open during Hurricane Harvey, and three-fourths reported that home visits were disrupted. The length of disruption varied: 7% reported a disruption of 1 day or less and 46% indicated a disruption of 1 week or longer. Disruption occurred even though nearly all (99%) of the agencies had—and close to all (92%) of them activated—an emergency preparedness plan.
Although most of the participating home health agencies activated their emergency preparedness plan, significant disruption in home health services occurred. While agencies are required to have clear, detailed plans in place, gaps in effective implementation of emergency preparedness plans remain.
This study aimed to explore attitudes, beliefs and experiences regarding polypharmacy and discontinuing medications, or deprescribing, among community living older adults aged ≥65 years, using ≥5 medications. It also aimed to investigate if health literacy capabilities influenced attitudes and beliefs towards deprescribing.
Polypharmacy use is common among Australian older adults. However, little is known about their attitudes towards polypharmacy use or towards stopping medications. Previous studies indicate that health literacy levels tend to be lower in older adults, resulting in poor knowledge about medications.
A self-administered survey was conducted using two previously validated tools; the Patients’ Attitude Towards Deprescribing (PATD) tool to measure attitudes towards polypharmacy use and deprescribing and the All Aspects of Health Literacy Scale (AAHLS) to measure functional, communicative and critical health literacy. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted.
The 137 responses showed that 80% thought all their medications were necessary and were comfortable with the number taken. Wanting to reduce the number of medications taken was associated with concerns about the amount taken (P<0.001), experiencing side effects (P<0.001), or believing that one or more medications were no longer needed (P<0.000). Those who were using ten or more medications were more likely to want to reduce the number taken (P=0.019). Most (88%) respondents would be willing to stop medication/s in the context of receiving this advice from their doctor. Willingness to consider stopping correlated with higher scores on the critical health literacy subscale (P<0.021) and overall AAHLS score (P<0.009). Those with higher scores on the overall AAHLS measure were more likely to report that they understood why their medications were prescribed (P<0.000) and were more likely to participate in decision-making (P=0.027). Opportunities to proactively consider deprescribing may be missed, as one third of the respondents could not recall a recent review of their medications.
This project was a secondary hermeneutic analysis of text expressing loneliness or social isolation, gathered in an original study exploring how Chinese, Indian and Korean late-life immigrants participated in New Zealand society. It utilised the 24 interview recordings, initially transcribed in participants’ first languages from nine focus group and 15 individual interviews, and translated into English for analysis. Hermeneutic methods were used to extract and analyse quotes indicative of loneliness or social isolation. The data cohered into three notions: being unsettled, feeling sidelined and being oriented towards social connectedness. Being unsettled names the experiences of disconcerting loneliness or social isolation when previously familiar things, people and places were not there in the host society context. Feeling sidelined names the feelings of being put aside by others or feeling opaque with local communities. Being oriented towards social connectedness expresses these late-life immigrants’ longing to communicate with and to join with others in the community through culturally familiar engagements. A mood of loneliness coloured these late-life immigrants’ resettlement experiences in New Zealand. Yet they turned away from loneliness and sought out encounters with other older immigrants within co-ethnic communities.
This article aims to evaluate and assess the health issues of Calgarians over the age of 50 who are experiencing chronic homelessness, determine their unmet service needs, and assess whether there are predictors of chronic homelessness (such as childhood trauma) that could be addressed with changes to policy or service delivery. Three hundred participants were recruited from emergency shelters, as well as a from a small group of rough sleepers in Calgary, Canada in the winter of 2016. Excel and SPSS were used for analysis beginning with descriptive statistics for the samples of respondents who are 50 and older (n = 142) and under the age of 50 (n = 158). More than half of participants had been homeless continually for more than 10 years. Older adults reported complex health issues and significant barriers to accessing health care including finances, wait lists, and asking for help but not receiving it. Older adults reported lower rates of childhood trauma than their younger counterparts, yet the average was two and half times that of the general population. Recognition of the intersecting and cumulative effects of long-term homelessness and age could inform changes to policy to reduce siloes around public systems. Given that older adults are at higher risk for an early death, they should be prioritized for housing programs. Culturally appropriate and trauma-informed interventions are necessary to address the diverse and complex needs of this vulnerable group.
Neighbourhood greenness or vegetative presence has been associated with indicators of health and well-being, but its relationship to depression in older adults has been less studied. Understanding the role of environmental factors in depression may inform and complement traditional depression interventions, including both prevention and treatment.
This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood greenness and depression diagnoses among older adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA.
Analyses examined 249 405 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, a USA federal health insurance programme for older adults. Participants were 65 years and older, living in the same Miami location across 2 years (2010–2011). Multilevel analyses assessed the relationship between neighbourhood greenness, assessed by average block-level normalised difference vegetative index via satellite imagery, and depression diagnosis using USA Medicare claims data. Covariates were individual age, gender, race/ethnicity, number of comorbid health conditions and neighbourhood median household income.
Over 9% of beneficiaries had a depression diagnosis. Higher levels of greenness were associated with lower odds of depression, even after adjusting for demographics and health comorbidities. When compared with individuals residing in the lowest tertile of greenness, individuals from the middle tertile (medium greenness) had 8% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.92; 95% CI 0.88, 0.96; P = 0.0004) and those from the high tertile (high greenness) had 16% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.84; 95% CI 0.79, 0.88; P < 0.0001).
Higher levels of greenness may reduce depression odds among older adults. Increasing greenery – even to moderate levels – may enhance individual-level approaches to promoting wellness.
Older adults with dementia are particularly vulnerable to adverse outcomes resulting from anticholinergic use. We aimed to: (i) Examine the anticholinergic burden of patients with dementia attending a Psychiatry of Later Life (PLL) service (ii) Examine concomitant prescription of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) and anticholinergics and (iii) Compare the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale with a recently published composite list of anticholinergics.
Retrospective chart review of new referrals with a diagnosis of dementia (n = 66) seen by the PLL service, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, over a consecutive period of 4 months.
The mean ACB score was 2.2 (range = 0–9, SD = 2.1). 37.9% (n = 25) had a clinically significant ACB score (>3) and 42.1% (n = 8) of those taking AChEIs had a clinically significant ACB score. A significantly greater number of medications with anticholinergic activity were identified using the composite list versus the traditional ACB scale (2.3 v.1.5, p = 0.001).
We demonstrated a significant anticholinergic burden amongst patients with dementia attending a specialist PLL service. There was no difference in anticholinergic burden between groups prescribed and not prescribed AChEIs, indicating that these medications are being prescribed without discontinuation of potentially inappropriate medications with anticholinergic activity. The true anticholinergic burden experienced by patients may be underestimated by the use of the ACB score alone, although the clinical significance of this finding is unclear. Calculation of true clinical anticholinergic burden load and its translation to a specific rating scale remains a challenge.