Population aging increases the need for knowledge on positive aspects of aging, and contributions of older people to their own wellbeing and that of others. We defined active aging as an individual's striving for elements of wellbeing with activities as per their goals, abilities and opportunities. This study examines associations of health, health behaviors, health literacy and functional abilities, environmental and social support with active aging and wellbeing. We will develop and validate assessment methods for physical activity and physical resilience suitable for research on older people, and examine their associations with active aging and wellbeing. We will examine cohort effects on functional phenotypes underlying active aging and disability.
For this population-based study, we plan to recruit 1000 participants aged 75, 80 or 85 years living in central Finland, by drawing personal details from the population register. Participants are interviewed on active aging, wellbeing, disability, environmental and social support, mobility, health behavior and health literacy. Physical activity and heart rate are monitored for 7 days with wearable sensors. Functional tests include hearing, vision, muscle strength, reaction time, exercise tolerance, mobility, and cognitive performance. Clinical examination by a nurse and physician includes an electrocardiogram, tests of blood pressure, orthostatic regulation, arterial stiffness, and lung function, as well as a review of chronic and acute conditions and prescribed medications. C-reactive protein, small blood count, cholesterol and vitamin D are analyzed from blood samples. Associations of factors potentially underlying active aging and wellbeing will be studied using multivariate methods. Cohort effects will be studied by comparing test results of physical and cognitive functioning with results of a cohort examined in 1989-90.
The current study will renew research on positive gerontology through the novel approach to active aging and by suggesting new biomarkers of resilience and active aging. Therefore, high interdisciplinary impact is expected. This cross-sectional study will not provide knowledge on temporal order of events or causality, but an innovative cross-sectional dataset provides opportunities for emergence of novel creative hypotheses and theories.
This study examined the feasibility of the HLS-EU-Q16 (in Finnish) for use among older Finns and whether the health literacy score correlates with indicators of health and functioning.
To determine the feasibility of the instrument, we first conducted a focus group discussion with nine participants. For the quantitative analyses, we used data from the AGNES cohort study, collected between October 2017 and April 2018 at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. 292 75-year-old Finnish men and women were interviewed face-to-face in their homes. Health literacy was measured with the HLS-EU-Q16 and health literacy score, ranging from 0 to 50, computed. The reproducibility of the instrument was test-retested. Chi-square tests were used to compare health literacy scores between participants by different socioeconomic variables, and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to study the associations of health literacy with cognition, depressive symptoms, chronic conditions, life-space mobility and physical performance.
The mean health literacy score for all participants was 35.05 (SD 6.32). Participants who rated their financial situation and self-rated health as very good had the highest health literacy scores (38.85, SD 5.09 and 39.22, SD 6.77, respectively). Better health literacy was associated with better cognitive status, fewer depressive symptoms and chronic conditions, higher life-space mobility and better physical performance.
The HLS-EU-Q16 is a feasible measure for research purposes among older Finns. The associations between health literacy and indicators of health and functioning need to be more closely investigated in larger samples with a wider age-range.
This cross-sectional study investigated associations between reasons to go outdoors and objectively-measured walking activity in various life-space areas among older people. During the study, 174 community-dwelling older people aged 75-90 from central Finland wore an accelerometer over seven days and recorded their reasons to go outdoors in an activity diary. The most common reasons for going outdoors were shopping, walking for exercise, social visits, and running errands. Activities done in multiple life-space areas contributed more to daily step counts than those done in the neighborhood or town and beyond. Those who went shopping or walked for exercise accumulated higher daily step counts than those who did not go outdoors for these reasons. These results show that shopping and walking for exercise are common reasons to go outdoors for community-dwelling older people and may facilitate walking activity in older age. Future studies on how individual trips contribute to the accumulation of steps are warranted.
To profile participants based on reported outdoor physical activity barriers using a data-driven approach, describe the profiles and study their association with unmet physical activity need.
Cross-sectional analyses of 848 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-90 living in Central Finland in 2012. Barriers to outdoor physical activity and unmet physical activity need were enquired with a questionnaire. The latent profiles were identified by profiling participants into latent groups using a mixture modeling technique on the multivariate set of indicators of outdoor physical activity barriers. A path model was used to study the associations of the profiles with unmet physical activity need.
Five barrier profiles were identified. Profile A was characterized with minor barriers, profile B with weather barriers, profile C with health and weather barriers, profile D with barriers concerning insecurity, health and weather; and profile E with mobility and health barriers. The participants in the profiles differed in the proportion of individual and environmental barriers. The risk for unmet physical activity need was highest among people whose severe mobility difficulties restricted their outdoor physical activity.
Outdoor physical activity barriers reflect the imbalance in person-environment fit among older people, manifested as unmet physical activity need.
The aim of this study was to analyze whether the associations between perceived environmental and individual characteristics and perceived walking limitations in older people differ between those with intact and those with poorer lower extremity performance.
Persons aged 75 to 90 ( N = 834) participated in interviews and performance tests in their homes. Standard questionnaires were used to obtain walking difficulties; environmental barriers to and, facilitators of, mobility; and perceived individual hindrances to outdoor mobility. Lower extremity performance was tested using Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB).
Among those with poorer lower extremity performance, the likelihood for advanced walking limitations was, in particular, related to perceived poor safety in the environment, and among those with intact performance to perceived social issues, such as lack of company, as well as to long distances.
The environmental correlates of walking limitations seem to depend on the level of lower extremity performance.
A crucial issue for the sustainability of societies is how to maintain health and functioning in older people. With increasing age, losses in vision, hearing, balance, mobility and cognitive capacity render older people particularly exposed to environmental barriers. A central building block of human functioning is walking. Walking difficulties may start to develop in midlife and become increasingly prevalent with age. Life-space mobility reflects actual mobility performance by taking into account the balance between older adults internal physiologic capacity and the external challenges they encounter in daily life. The aim of the Life-Space Mobility in Old Age (LISPE) project is to examine how home and neighborhood characteristics influence people's health, functioning, disability, quality of life and life-space mobility in the context of aging. In addition, examine whether a person's health and function influence life-space mobility.
This paper describes the study protocol of the LISPE project, which is a 2-year prospective cohort study of community-dwelling older people aged 75 to 90 (n?=?848). The data consists of a baseline survey including face-to-face interviews, objective observation of the home environment and a physical performance test in the participant's home. All the baseline participants will be interviewed over the phone one and two years after baseline to collect data on life-space mobility, disability and participation restriction. Additional home interviews and environmental evaluations will be conducted for those who relocate during the study period. Data on mortality and health service use will be collected from national registers. In a substudy on walking activity and life space, 358 participants kept a 7-day diary and, in addition, 176 participants also wore an accelerometer.
Our study, which includes extensive data collection with a large sample, provides a unique opportunity to study topics of importance for aging societies. A novel approach is employed which enables us to study the interactions of environmental features and individual characteristics underlying the life-space of older people. Potentially, the results of this study will contribute to improvements in strategies to postpone or prevent progression to disability and loss of independence.
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essential aspects of independence in community mobility among older people concern the control over where, when and how to participate (perceived autonomy), and actual mobility (life-space mobility; frequency, distance and need of assistance). We studied relationships between frailty and life-space mobility and perceived autonomy in participation outdoors among community-dwelling 75-90 years old people.
longitudinal analyses of the 'Life-space mobility in old age' cohort study (n = 753). Life-space mobility (Life-Space Assessment, range 0-120) and perceived autonomy in participation outdoors (Impact on Participation and Autonomy subscale 'autonomy outdoors', range 0-20) were assessed at baseline and 2 years later. Baseline frailty indicators were unintentional weight loss (self-report), weakness (5 times chair rise), exhaustion (self-report), slowness (2.44 m walk) and low physical activity (self-report).
in total, 53% had no frailty, 43% pre-frailty (1-2 frailty indicators) and 4% frailty (=3 indicators). Generalised estimation equation models showed that life-space mobility was lower among those with frailty and pre-frailty compared with those without frailty and, in addition, declined at a faster pace. Perceived autonomy in participation outdoors was more restricted among those with frailty and pre-frailty compared with those without frailty, but the rate of decline did not differ.
frailty was associated with more restricted life-space mobility and poorer perceived autonomy in the decision-making concerning community mobility. Over the follow-up, frailty predicted a steeper decline in life-space mobility but not in perceived autonomy. Further study is warranted to determine whether compensation strategies or changes in the valuation of activities underlie this discrepancy.
Life-space mobility refers to the spatial area an individual moves through, the frequency and need for assistance. Based on the assumption that measurement scale properties are context-specific, we tested the scale distribution, responsiveness, and reproducibility of the 15-item University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging Life-Space Assessment in older people in Finland, specifically accounting for season.
Community-dwelling older men and women in central Finland aged 75-90 years were interviewed to determine life-space mobility (score range 0-120). Baseline (January-June 2012) and one-year follow-up data (January-June 2013; n?=?806) from the cohort study "Life-space mobility in old age" were used to investigate the scale distribution and responsiveness over a period of one year. In addition, with a sub-sample in conjunction with the one-year follow-up, we collected data to study the two-week test-retest reproducibility (n?=?18 winter and n?=?21 spring 2013).
The median life-space mobility score at baseline was 64. The median change in score over the one-year follow-up was zero. However, participants reporting a decline in health (repeated measures ANOVA p?=?.016) or mobility (p?=?.002) status demonstrated a significantly larger decrease in life-space mobility score than those reporting no or positive changes over the year. The two-week intra-class correlation (ICC) coefficient was .72. Lower ICC was found in the winter than in the spring sample and for items that represent higher life-space levels.
The test-retest reproducibility of the Life-Space Assessment was fair but somewhat compromised in the winter. Mobility of older people at the life-space levels of "town" and "beyond town" may be more variable. Life-space mobility was responsive to change, regardless of season. Further study is warranted to obtain insight in the factors contributing to seasonal effects.
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Physical activity-an important determinant of health and function in old age-may vary according to the life-space area reached. Our aim was to study how moving through greater life-space areas is associated with greater physical activity of community-dwelling older people. The association between objectively measured physical activity and life-space area reached on different days by the same individual was studied using one-week longitudinal data, to provide insight in causal relationships.
One-week surveillance of objectively assessed physical activity of community-dwelling 70-90-year-old people in central Finland from the "Life-space mobility in old age" cohort substudy (N = 174). In spring 2012, participants wore an accelerometer for 7 days and completed a daily diary including the largest life-space area reached (inside home, outside home, neighborhood, town, and beyond town). The daily step count, and the time in moderate (incl. walking) and low activity and sedentary behavior were assessed. Differences in physical activity between days on which different life-space areas were reached were tested using Generalized Estimation Equation models (within-group comparison).
Participants' mean age was 80.4±4.2 years and 63.5% were female. Participants had higher average step counts (p
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Cites: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Sep;67(9):984-922546958
The research aim was to study the associations of nature diversity with quality of life (QoL) and depressive symptoms among older people, and whether physical activity explains the associations.
Community-dwelling people aged 75-90 years (n?=?848) living in Central Finland were interviewed in their homes. QoL was assessed with a short version of the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life Assessment (range 0-130, higher score indicates better QoL) and depressive symptoms with the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (range 0-30, higher scores indicate more depressive symptoms). Self-reported physical activity was assessed by intensity and duration using a single question with seven response options ranging from mostly resting to competitive sports. Nature diversity (Shannon Diversity Index) was assessed objectively within a 500-m buffer around participants' homes using a geographic information system (GIS).
Mean QoL was 100.3 (SD 11.8) and mean CES-D 9.6 (SD 6.8). Those in the highest nature diversity tertile had better QoL than those in the lowest tertile (p?=?.022). Physical activity did not explain the association between nature diversity and QoL. Adjustment for health indicators did not change the results. Nature diversity was not associated with depressive symptoms.
A diverse environment, especially when this includes elements of nature, is associated with better QoL. Good quality of the green infrastructure and adding natural elements to residential areas may enhance well-being among community-dwelling older people.