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.
Several theoretical viewpoints suggest that older adults need to modify their personal goals in the face of functional decline. The aim of this study was to investigate longitudinally the association of mobility limitation with changes in personal goals among older women.
Eight-year follow-up of 205 women aged 66-78 years at baseline.
Health-related goals were the most common at both measurements. Goals related to independent living almost doubled and goals related to exercise and to cultural activities substantially decreased during the follow-up. Higher age decreased the likelihood for engaging in new goals related to cultural activities and disengaging from goals related to independent living. Women who had developed mobility limitation during the follow-up were less likely to engage in new goals related to exercise and more likely to disengage from goals related to cultural activities and to health and functioning.
The results of this study support theories suggesting that age-related losses such as mobility limitation may result in older adults modifying or disengaging from personal goals.
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.
The aim was to study whether perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility affect changes in sense of autonomy in participation outdoors among community-dwelling older people over a two-year period.
Community-dwelling people aged 75-90 years (n = 848) in central Finland were interviewed on two occasions, face-to-face at baseline and over the telephone two years later. Perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility were assessed using a 15-item structured questionnaire, and the sum scores categorized into tertiles (0, 1 and 2 or more barriers). Autonomy in participation outdoors was assessed with the 'Impact on Participation and Autonomy' (IPA) questionnaire using the autonomy outdoors subscale (score range 0-20, higher scores indicating more restricted autonomy).
Scores for autonomy in participation outdoors were available for 848 participants at baseline (mean 6.2, SD = 3.8) and for 748 participants at the two-year follow-up (mean 6.7, SD = 3.9). At baseline, those reporting multiple environmental barriers had the most restricted autonomy, while those reporting no environmental barriers had the least restricted autonomy (p
Task modification refers to performing a task differently than before. While task modification in walking may be a sign of looming walking difficulty, it may also be adaptive in and postpone the decline in life-space mobility. However, this has not been studied. This study examined whether changes in life-space mobility over a 2-year period differ between people who at baseline report no walking difficulty and no task modification, those who report no walking difficulty but task modification, and those who report walking difficulty.
Community-dwelling people aged 75-90 years were interviewed face-to-face at baseline (N = 848), and over phone one (n = 816) and two (n = 761) years later. Life-space mobility was assessed annually with the Life-Space Assessment (range 0-120, higher scores indicate better life-space mobility). Self-reported ability to walk 2 km was assessed at baseline and categorized into "no difficulty," "no difficulty but task modifications" (reduced frequency, given up walking, walking slower or resting during walking) and "difficulty." The analyses were adjusted for age, gender, number of chronic conditions, cognitive impairment, lower extremity performance and education.
The life-space mobility score was highest and remained stable over 2-years among those with no walking difficulties at baseline and lowest and showing a steady decline among those with walking difficulties. Those with task modifications formed the middle group. They showed no marked changes in life-space mobility during the first year, but significant decline during the second year.
Task modifications in walking may help community-dwelling older people to postpone life-space mobility decline.