Good housing solutions are important for the ageing population in order to promote health and maintain functional ability. The objective of this study was to investigate whether and how objective and perceived aspects of housing were related to perceived health among ADL independent and ADL dependent groups of older, single-living people within three national samples.
The current study was based on national samples (German, n = 450; Latvian, n = 303; Swedish, n = 397) from the European ENABLE-AGE Project, using data on ADL dependence, perceived health, objective and perceived aspects of housing. Descriptive statistics, correlations and multivariate ordinal regression models were used to analyze the data.
The participants in the ADL dependent groups generally were older, had more functional limitations and perceived their health as poorer compared to ADL independent groups. With regard to perceived housing, usability as well as meaning of home indicators was often lower in the ADL dependent groups, housing satisfaction was at the same level while housing-related external control beliefs were higher. The differences among the national samples were highly significant for both ADL groups, for all variables except number of outdoor environmental barriers in the ADL independent groups. The relations between perceived health on one hand and objective and perceived aspects of housing on the other show great diversities among the ADL groups and the national samples.
The results serve to alert health care practitioners that it is important to draw attention to how older people perceive their housing situation and to the fact that different levels of functional independence demand different interventions.
Attitudes toward ageing have powerful influences and impact older adults' own perception of health, quality of life and utilisation of health and social care services. This study describes attitudes to ageing among 490 Norwegian older adults living in the community who responded to The Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire. Results showed that in spite of physical changes and psychological losses, the attitudes of older adults support life acceptance with gained wisdom in feeling that there were many pleasant things about growing older and that their identity was not defined by their age. They demonstrated the ability to incorporate age-related changes within their identities and at the same time maintain a positive view of self. Although they acknowledged that old age represented a time of loss with decreasing physical independence, they meant that their lives had made a difference, they wanted to give a good example to younger persons and felt it was a privilege to grow old.
Fear of falling has been linked to activity restriction, functional decline, decreased quality of life and increased risk of falling. Factors that distinguish persons with a high concern about falling from those with low concern have not been systematically studied.
This study aimed to expose potential health-related, functional and psychosocial factors that correlate with fear of falling among independently living older women who had fallen in the past year.
Baseline data of 409 women aged 70-80 years recruited to a randomised falls prevention trial (DEX) (NCT00986466) were used. Participants were classified according to their level of concern about falling using the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to explore associations between health-related variables, functional performance tests, amount of physical activity, quality of life and FES-I scores.
68% of the participants reported a moderate to high concern (FES-I = 20) about falls. Multinomial logistic regression showed that highly concerned women were significantly more likely to have poorer health and quality of life and lower functional ability. Reported difficulties in instrumental activities of daily living, balance, outdoor mobility and poorer quality of life contributed independently to a greater concern about falling.
Concern about falling was highly prevalent in our sample of community-living older women. In particular, poor perceived general health and mobility constraints contributed independently to the difference between high and low concern of falling. Knowledge of these associations may help in developing interventions to reduce fear of falling and activity avoidance in old age.
To determine the association between leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and adherence to Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (CFG) in community-dwelling adults with chronic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).
Participants were recruited as part of the Study of Health and Activity in People with SCI (SHAPE-SCI). Dietary data were collected using 24-h recalls and analysed for adherence to CFG recommendations by age group and gender. LTPA was assessed using the Physical Activity Recall Assessment for Persons with SCI. Statistical analysis comprised correlations, multiple regression and ?(2).
We studied 75 adults (n=61 M; 42.4±11.8 years; 25.5±5.2?kg?m(-2)) with chronic (=1-year post-injury) SCI. Of these, 37% of participants were inactive, 29% were low-active and 33% were high-active. Fewer than 5% of participants were 100% adherent with CFG; 85% were adherent to =50%. Activity level and overall adherence to CFG were not correlated (r=-0.052, P=0.666). Although there were no associations between LTPA and vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, or other foods (all P>0.05), high activity was associated with consuming less than the minimum number of recommended servings of meat and alternatives (f=-0.258, P=0.026).
Clinicians need to be aware of the poor diet quality, and low levels of physical activity, of people with chronic SCI. They should not assume that those who are more active consume better quality diets than those who are low active or inactive.
People with advanced cancer are able to live for extended periods of time. Advanced cancer can cause functional limitations influencing the ability to manage occupations. Although studies have shown that people with advanced cancer experience occupational difficulties, there is only limited research that specifically explores how these occupational difficulties are managed.
To describe and explore how people with advanced cancer manage occupations when living at home.
A sub-sample of 73 participants from a larger occupational therapy project took part in the study. The participants were consecutively recruited from a Danish university hospital. Qualitative interviews were performed at the homes of the participants. Content analysis was applied to the data.
Managing occupations were manifested in two main categories; (1) Conditions influencing occupations in everyday life and (2) Self-developed strategies to manage occupations.
The findings suggest that people with advanced cancer should be supported to a greater extent in finding ways to manage familiar as well as new and more personally meaningful occupations to enhance quality of life.
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.
There has been an increasing interest in reablement in Norway recently and many municipalities have implemented this form of rehabilitation despite a lack of robust evidence of its effectiveness. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of reablement in home-dwelling older adults compared with usual care in relation to daily activities, physical functioning, and health-related quality of life.
This is a parallel-group randomised controlled trial conducted in a rural municipality in Norway. Sixty-one home-dwelling older adults with functional decline were randomised to an intervention group (n = 31) or a control group (n = 30). The intervention group received ten weeks of multicomponent home-based rehabilitation. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) was used to measure self-perceived activity performance and satisfaction with performance. In addition, physical capacity and health-related quality of life were measured. The participants were assessed at baseline and at 3- and 9-month follow-ups.
There were significant improvements in mean scores favouring reablement in COPM performance at 3 months with a score of 1.5 points (p = 0.02), at 9 months 1.4 points (p = 0.03) and overall treatment 1.5 points (p = 0.01), and for COPM satisfaction at 9 months 1.4 points (p = 0.03) and overall treatment 1.2 points (p = 0.04). No significant group differences were found concerning COPM satisfaction at 3 months, physical capacity or health-related quality of life.
A 10-week reablement program resulted in better activity performance and satisfaction with performance on a long-term basis, but not the other outcomes measured.
The trial was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov November 20, 2012, identifier NCT02043262 .
The importance of the home environment increases with age. Perceived aspects of home influence life satisfaction, perceived health, independence in daily activities and well-being among very old people. However, research on health and perceived aspects of home among senior citizens in earlier phases of the aging process is lacking. Therefore, the main aim was to explore whether perceived aspects of home are related to number of and specific domains of symptoms in a cohort of people aged 67-70. Interview and observation data on aspects of home and health, collected with 371 individuals living in ordinary housing in urban as well as rural areas in southern Sweden, were used. Descriptive statistics, correlations, multiple linear and logistic regression models were employed. The results showed that the median number of symptoms was 6.0. Reporting fewer reported symptoms was associated with a higher meaning of home (p=0.003) and lower external housing related control beliefs (p=0.001) but not with usability in the home. High external control beliefs were significantly associated with symptoms from head (p=0.014), gastrointestinal (p=0.014) and tension symptoms (p=0.001). Low meaning of home was significantly associated with heart-lung symptoms (p=0.007), and low usability was associated with depressive symptoms (p=0.003). In conclusion, showing that perceived aspects of home are important for health in terms of physical and mental symptoms, this study contributes to the knowledge on the complex interplay of health and home in the third age.
The decision to relocate in old age is intricately linked to thoughts and desires to stay put. However, most research focuses either on strategies that allow people to age in place or on their reasons for relocation. There is a need for more knowledge on very old peoples' residential reasoning, including thoughts about aging in place and thoughts about relocation as one intertwined process evolving in everyday life. The aim of this study was to explore what we refer to as the process of residential reasoning and how it changes over time among very old people, and to contribute to the theoretical development regarding aging in place and relocation. Taking a longitudinal perspective, data stem from the ENABLE-AGE In-depth Study, with interviews conducted in 2003 followed up in interviews in 2011. The 16 participants of the present study were 80-89years at the time of the first interview. During analysis the Theoretical Model of Residential Normalcy by Golant and the Life Course Model of Environmental Experience by Rowles & Watkins were used as sensitizing concepts. The findings revealed changes in the process of residential reasoning that related to a wide variety of issues. Such issues included the way very old people use their environmental experience, their striving to build upon or dismiss attachment to place, and their attempts to maintain or regain residential normalcy during years of declining health and loss of independence. In addition, the changes in reasoning were related to end-of-life issues. The findings contribute to the theoretical discussion on aging in place, relocation as a coping strategy, and reattachment after moving in very old age.
Assistive robots could be a future means to support independent living for seniors.
This article provides insights into the latest developments in social service robots (SSR) based on the recently finished HOBBIT project. The idea of the HOBBIT project was to develop a low-cost SSR which is able to reduce the risk of falling, to detect falls and handle emergencies in private homes. The main objective of the project was to raise the technology to a level that allows the robot to be fully autonomously deployed in the private homes of older users and to evaluate technology market readiness, utility, usability and affordability under real-world conditions.
During the initial phase of the project, a first prototype (PT1) was developed. The results of laboratory tests with PT1 were used for the development of a second prototype (PT2), which was finally tested in seven households of senior adults (mean age 79 years) for 3 weeks each, i.e. in total more than 5 months.
The results showed that PT2 is intuitive to handle and that the functions offered meet the needs of older users; however, the robot was considered more as a toy than a supportive device for independent living. Furthermore, despite an emergency function of the robot, perceived security did not increase.
Reasons for this might be a lack of technological robustness and slow performance of the prototype and also the good health conditions of the users; however, users believed that a market-ready version of the robot would be vital for supporting people who are more fragile and more socially isolated. Thus, SSRs have the potential to support independent living of older people although the technology has to be considerably improved to reach market readiness.