Research on rural aging has developed considerably since publication of the book Aging in Rural Canada (Butterworths, 1991). The purpose of this article is twofold: to provide a retrospective on issues in rural aging from this book, and to review Canadian literature on rural aging since its publication. The review highlights new directions in conceptual definitions of rural, and in issues of social engagement, independence, family and social networks, and rural services and health. Two main research lenses are evident. The marginalization lens focuses on rural seniors with health problems, but has not included those marginalized by poverty or gender. The aging-well lens focuses on contributions and engagement, but has omitted research on social relationships and quality of family interaction. The report includes a call for interrogation about interaction between people and place, and for understanding issues of rural diversity and processes of rural aging.
little is known about demographic and clinical characteristics associated with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) or central sleep apnoea (CSA) in community-dwelling elderly. We also examined these (OSA and CSA) associations to all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality.
a total of 331 community-dwelling elderly aged 71-87 years underwent a clinical examination and one-night polygraphic recordings in their homes. Mortality data were collected after seven years.
a total of 55% had SDB, 38% had OSA and 17% had CSA. Compared with those with no SDB and OSA, more participants with CSA had a left ventricular ejection fraction 75 years does not appear to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) disease or mortality, whereas CSA might be a pathological marker of CVD and impaired systolic function associated with higher mortality.
previously, a randomised controlled exercise intervention study (RCT) showed that combined resistance and balance-jumping training (COMB) improved physical functioning and bone strength. The purpose of this follow-up study was to assess whether this exercise intervention had long-lasting effects in reducing injurious falls and fractures.
five-year health-care register-based follow-up study after a 1-year, four-arm RCT.
community-dwelling older women in Finland.
one hundred and forty-five of the original 149 RCT participants; women aged 70-78 years at the beginning.
participants' health-care visits were collected from computerised patient register. An injurious fall was defined as an event in which the subject contacted the health-care professionals or was taken to a hospital, due to a fall. The rate of injured fallers was assessed by Cox proportional hazards model (hazard ratio, HR), and the rate of injurious falls and fractures by Poisson regression (risk ratio, RR).
eighty-one injurious falls including 26 fractures occurred during the follow-up. The rate of injured fallers was 62% lower in COMB group compared with the controls (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.85). In addition, COMB group had 51% less injurious falls (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.98) and 74% less fractures (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.97).
home-dwelling older women who participated in a 12-month intensive multi-component exercise training showed a reduced incidence for injurious falls during 5-year post-intervention period. Reduction in fractures was also evident. These long-term effects need to be confirmed in future studies.
The aims of the present study were to: (1) describe and compare individual characteristics of hospitalized and not hospitalized community living persons, and (2) to determine factors that are associated with hospitalization risk over time. We conducted a prospective study with a multifactorial approach based on the population-based longitudinal Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA). A total of 772 Swedes (mean age at baseline 69.7 years, range 46-103, 59.8% females) answered a postal questionnaire about physical and psychological health, personality and socioeconomic factors. During nine years of follow-up, information on hospitalizations and associated diagnoses were obtained from national registers. Results show that 484 persons (63%) had at least one hospital admission during the follow-up period. The most common causes of admission were cardiovascular diseases (25%) and tumors (22%). Cox proportional hazard regression models controlling for age, sex and dependency within twin pairs, showed that higher age (HR=1.02, p
Study formal and informal care of community-living older people in the Swedish National study of Aging and Care (SNAC).
Cross-sectional, population based cohort.
Three areas in Sweden: Municipality of Nordanstig, Stockholm and Skåne County.
3,338 persons =72 years.
Patterns and amounts of informal and formal care by cognition and area of residence.
73% received no care; 14% formal care; and 17% informal care (7% received both). In the whole study population, including those who used no care, individuals in small municipalities received 9.6 hours of informal care/month; in mid-size municipalities, 6.6; and in urban areas, 5.6. Users of informal care received 33.1 hours of informal care/month in small municipalities, 54.6 in mid-size municipalities and 36.1 in urban areas. Individuals with cognitive impairment received 14.1 hours of informal care/month, 2.7 times more than people with no/slight impairment. In the whole study population, individuals in small municipalities received an average of 3.2 hours of formal care/month; in mid-size municipalities 1.4; and in urban areas, 2.6. Corresponding figures for formal care users were 29.4 hours in small municipalities, 13.6 in mid-size municipalities and 16.7 in urban areas. Formal care users received 7.1 hours, and informal care users, 5.9 hours for each hour/month received by people in the study population as a whole.
More informal than formal care was provided. Informal care is more frequent in small municipalities than urban areas and for those with than without cognitive impairment. The relationship between data on the whole population and the data on users or care indicates that population-based data are needed to avoid overestimates of care.
To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functional capacity in relation to glycemic control among older home-dwelling primary care patients.
Electronic patient records were used to identify 527 people over 65 years with diabetes. Of these, 259 randomly selected subjects were invited to a health examination and 172 of them attended and provided complete data. The participants were divided into three groups based on the HbA1c: good (HbA1c57mmol/mol (N=29)) glycemic control. HRQoL was measured with the EuroQol EQ-5D questionnaire. Functional and cognitive capacity and mental well-being were assessed with the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15).
EQ-5D scores for good, intermediate and poor glycemic control were 0.78; 0.74 and 0.70, p=0.037. Sub-items of mobility (p=0.002) and self-care were the most affected (p=0.031). Corresponding trend was found for IADL, p=0.008. A significant correlation was found between MMSE scores and HbA1c.
Older primary care home-dwelling patients with diabetes and poorer glycemic control have lower functional capacity and HRQoL, especially in regard to mobility and self-care.
even older adults who are fit experience adverse health outcomes; understanding their risks for adverse outcomes may offer insight into ambient population health. Here, we evaluated mortality risk in relation to social vulnerability among the fittest older adults in a representative community-dwelling sample of older Canadians.
in this secondary analysis of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, participants (n = 5,703) were aged 70+ years at baseline. A frailty index was used to grade relative levels of fitness/frailty, using 31 self-reported health deficits. The analysis was limited to the fittest people (those reporting 0-1 health deficit). Social vulnerability was trichotomised from a social vulnerability scale, which consisted of 40 self-reported social deficits.
five hundred and eighty-four individuals had 0-1 health deficit. Among them, absolute mortality risk rose with increasing social vulnerability. In those with the lowest level of social vulnerability, 5-year mortality was 10.8%, compared with 32.5% for those with the highest social vulnerability (adjusted hazard ratio 2.5, 95% CI: 1.5-4.3, P = 0.001).
a 22% absolute mortality difference in the fittest older adults is of considerable clinical and public health importance. Routine assessment of social vulnerability by clinicians could have value in predicting the risk of adverse health outcomes in older adults.
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.
To examine relationships between modifiable midlife factors, aging, and physical and cognitive function (independent aging) and survival in very old age.
Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men, Uppsala, Sweden.
Swedish men investigated in 1970-74 (aged 48.6-51.1) and followed up for four decades (N=2,293).
Conventional cardiovascular risk factors, body mass index (BMI), and dietary biomarkers were measured, and a questionnaire was used to gather information on lifestyle variables at age 50. Four hundred seventy-two men were reinvestigated in 2008-09 (aged 84.8-88.9). Independent aging was defined as survival to age 85, Mini-Mental State Examination score of 25 or greater, not living in an institution, independent in personal care and hygiene, able to walk outdoors without personal help, and no diagnosis of dementia. The National Swedish Death Registry provided survival data.
Thirty-eight percent of the cohort survived to age 85. Seventy-four percent of the participants in 2008-09 were aging independently. In univariable analyses, high leisure-time physical activity predicted survival but not independent aging. Low work-time physical activity was associated more strongly with independent aging (odds ratio (OR)=1.84, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.18-2.88) than with survival (OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.05-1.52). In multivariable analyses, midlife BMI was negatively associated (OR=0.80/SD, 95% CI=0.65-0.99/SD), and never or former smoking was positively associated (OR=1.66, 95% CI=1.07-2.59), with independent aging. As expected, conventional cardiovascular and lifestyle risk factors were associated with mortality.
A normal midlife BMI and not smoking were associated with independent aging close to four decades later, indicating that normal weight at midlife has the potential not only to increase survival, but also to preserve independence with aging.
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