Never before in world history have so many individuals been living alone and independently. The welfare state has made this development possible, and in the Nordic countries this is very much true for older women.
Dementia-friendly communities, as communities that enable people with dementia to remain involved and active and have control over their lives for as long as possible, centrally involve social support and social networks for people living with dementia. The purpose of this research was to explore and understand the context of dementia in rural northern communities in Ontario with an emphasis on understanding how dementia friendly the communities were. Using qualitative methods, interviews were conducted with a total of 71 participants, including 37 health service providers, 15 care partners, 2 people living with dementia and 17 other community members such as local business owners, volunteers, local leaders, friends and neighbours. The strong social networks and informal social support that were available to people living with dementia, and the strong commitment by community members, families and health care providers to support people with dementia, were considered a significant asset to the community. A culture of care and looking out for each other contributed to the social support provided. In particular, the familiarity with others provided a supportive community environment. People with dementia were looked out for by community members, and continued to remain connected in their communities. The social support provided in these communities demonstrated that although fragile, this type of support offered somewhat of a safety net for individuals living with dementia. This work provides important insights into the landscape of dementia in rural northern Ontario communities, and the strong social supports that sustain people with dementia remaining in the communities.
In Iceland, there is a large variation in daylight between summer and winter. The aim of the study was to identify how this large variation influences physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). Free living PA was measured by a waist-worn accelerometer for one week during waking hours in 138 community-dwelling older adults (61.1% women, 80.3 ± 4.9 years) during summer and winter months. In general, SB occupied about 75% of the registered wear-time and was highly correlated with age (ß = 0.36). Although the differences were small, more time was spent during the summer in all PA categories, except for the moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and SB was reduced. More lifestyle PA (LSPA) was accumulated in =5-min bouts during summer than winter, especially among highly active participants. This information could be important for policy makers and health professionals working with older adults. Accounting for seasonal difference is necessary in analyzing SB and PA data.
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Population aging is a worldwide phenomenon. As a response, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the concept of 'age-friendliness' in 2006. Age-friendliness is defined in terms of a range of domains, such as housing, opportunities for participation, and transportation. Communities that accommodate the needs of older adults in these domains will, it is thought, promote healthy, active aging. The purpose of the present study was to examine communities' age-friendliness and its relationship to health-related outcomes in a rural context.
The study included 29 communities located in Manitoba, a mid-Western Canadian province, that are part of the Province of Manitoba's Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative. As part of a needs assessment process in these communities, 593 individuals, including seniors and younger adults, completed an Age-Friendly Survey. The survey was designed to measure a variety of features in seven domains (the physical environment, housing options, the social environment, opportunities for participation, community supports and healthcare services, transportation options, and communication and information), as well as containing measures of life satisfaction and self-perceived health. Community characteristics were derived from census data. Moreover, communities were categorized on a rural-urban continuum.
Multi-level regressions indicated that an overall Age-Friendly Index was positively related to both life satisfaction (b=0.019, p
To explore the relationship between inner strength and health threats among community-dwelling older women.
Inner strength is described as a resource that promotes experiences of health, despite adversities. Inner strength and its dimensions (i.e. connectedness, creativity, firmness and flexibility) can be assessed using the Inner Strength Scale (ISS). Exploring attributes of weaker inner strength may yield valuable information about areas to focus on in enhancing a person's inner strength and may ultimately lead to the perception of better health.
Cross-sectional questionnaire survey.
The study is based on responses from 1270 community-dwelling older women aged 65 years and older; these were collected in the year 2010 and describe the situation that still exists today for older women. The questionnaire included the ISS, background characteristics and explanatory variables known to be health threats in ageing. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Poorer mental health was related to weaker inner strength in total and in all the dimensions. Symptoms of depressive disorders and feeling lonely were related to three of the dimensions, except firmness and creativity respectively. Furthermore, poor physical health was associated with the dimensions firmness and flexibility. Other health threats were significantly related to only one of the dimensions, or not associated at all.
Mental ill health has overall the strongest association with weaker inner strength. Longitudinal studies are recommended to confirm the results. However, the ISS does not only estimate inner strength but can also be a tool for discovering where (i.e. dimension) interventions may be most profitable.
Neuropathic pain is more common among older people than in the general population, and the efficacy of medical treatment often remains unsatisfactory.
The aim of this study was to assess the presence, diagnostic certainty, etiology and treatment of neuropathic pain in community-dwelling older people with chronic pain.
Independently living older people aged 75, 80 and 85 years subject to communal preventive home visits with chronic pain were invited to a clinical pain examination by a geriatrician.
Overall, 106 patients consented to participate in the clinical study. Neuropathic pain was diagnosed in 51 (48%) patients, with 75% of pain states definite and 25% probable neuropathic pain. The most common etiology was degenerative disease of the spinal column causing radiculopathy. At the study visit, 11 patients (22% of neuropathic pain patients) were receiving medication that was demonstrated to be effective against neuropathic pain. The geriatrician recommended a trial of a new medicine for 17 patients, but only six continued the medication going forward.
Neuropathic pain was surprisingly common in our cohort. Finding effective pain medication is challenging due to comorbidities, possible side effects, and vulnerability in older age. Other pain management methods should be considered.
To determine whether the health and cost benefits of resistance training were sustained 12 months after formal cessation of the intervention.
Cost-utility analysis conducted alongside a randomized controlled trial.
Community-dwelling women aged 65 to 75 living in Vancouver, British Columbia.
One hundred twenty-three of the 155 community-dwelling women aged 65 to 75 years who originally were randomly allocated to once-weekly resistance training (n=54), twice-weekly resistance training (n=52), or twice-weekly balance and tone exercises (control group; n=49) participated in the 12-month follow-up study. Of these, 98 took part in the economic evaluation (twice-weekly balance and tone exercises, n=28; once-weekly resistance training, n=35; twice-weekly resistance training, n=35).
The primary outcome measure was incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Healthcare resource utilization was assessed over 21 months (2009 prices); health status was assessed using the EuroQol-5D to calculate QALYs using a 21-month time horizon.
Once- and twice-weekly resistance training were less costly than balance and tone classes, with incremental mean healthcare costs of Canadian dollars (CAD$)1,857 and CAD$1,077, respectively. The incremental QALYs for once- and twice-weekly resistance training were -0.051 and -0.081, respectively, compared with balance and tone exercises.
The cost benefits of participating in a 12-month resistance training intervention were sustained for the once- and twice-weekly resistance training group, whereas the health benefits were not.
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This study investigated the associations of personal goals with exercise activity, as well as the relationships between exercise-related and other personal goals, among older women. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs were used with a sample of 308 women ages 66-79 at baseline. Women who reported exercise-related personal goals were 4 times as likely to report high exercise activity at baseline than those who did not report exercise-related goals. Longitudinal results were parallel. Goals related to cultural activities, as well as to busying oneself around the home, coincided with exercise-related goals, whereas goals related to own and other people's health and independent living lowered the odds of having exercise-related goals. Helping older adults to set realistic exercise-related goals that are compatible with their other life goals may yield an increase in their exercise activity, but this should be evaluated in a controlled trial.