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.
The aim of this article is to reveal how family members act, react and reason when their elderly relative considers relocation to a residential home. Since family members are usually involved in the logistics of their elderly relative's relocation, yet simultaneously expected not to influence the decision, the focus is on how family members experience participation in the relocation process in a Swedish context. 17 family members are included in 27 open, semi-structured interviews and follow-up contacts. Prominent features in the findings are firstly the family members' ambition to tone down their personal opinions, even though in their minds their personal preferences are clear, and secondly, the family members' ambivalence about continuity and change in their everyday lives. Family members are found to apply the adapting, the representing, or the avoiding strategy, indirectly also influencing their interaction with the care manager. Siblings applied the adapting strategy, spouses the representing strategy, while family members in the younger generation at times switched between the strategies.
This article explores the experience of residing in age-related housing. The focus is on the negotiations around the multiple meanings assigned to place of residency among older people - in a situation where the official policy objectives of growing old in one's own home are not achieved.
Narrative analysis is employed to study the experiences of older people aged 75 or older living in special types of housing due to actual or anticipated difficulties associated with age. The interviews are part of a larger body of data gathered in MOVAGE Moving in Old Age: Transitions in Housing and Care research project.
The storyworld was structured by the romantic canonical narrative associated with the policy of 'ageing in place'; growing old at home is idealised and moving is constructed as a disruption. This breach was resolved through explaining deviance from canonical expectations by causes constructed as legitimate, through encountering trouble by constructing oneself as a non-typical resident, and through creating counter stories of natural transitions and choices. As a result, despite the commonly negative meanings associated with the residency in age-related housing, positive storylines respecting values embedded in the canonical narratives of home and endurance were achieved.
A living environment that is experienced as suitable, and that has adequate formal help available, supports and enables wellbeing and independence. This is true within age-related housing as well as in other forms. Thus, even though the important meaning of a long-term home should continue to be acknowledged, various other kinds of forms of housing should be made available in order to enhance older people's sense of security and feeling that they are autonomous, independent agents in their everyday life in accordance with their subjective life experiences.
How older people spend their time in different occupations could contribute to our understanding of everyday life in healthy ageing. This study adopted a time-geographic method and occupational perspective to explore the occupational engagement of community dwelling older people. The term occupational engagement encompasses what people do, where and with whom they spend their time and the perceived level of competence and meaningfulness of their time use. Nineteen volunteers born between 1932 and 1933, living alone in an urban area in northern Sweden and receiving no home care services, completed open time-geographic diaries for 5 days in May 2010. The diary data were analyzed using Daily Life software program. The study revealed the complexity and the diversity of the older people's occupational engagement and that most of their time was spent alone in their home. The older people reported they were very good at doing almost half of the occupations in which they engaged and that their occupations were primarily either very meaningful or meaningful. While some methodological limitations were identified, time-geographic studies of community dwelling older people living independently are considered to have potential to contribute to community and social planning for older people as they can provide interesting insights to older persons' time use and occupational needs.
The concept of "successful aging" has become widely accepted in gerontology, yet continues to have no common underlying definition. Researchers have increasingly looked to older individuals for their lay definitions of successful aging. The present analysis is based on responses to five questionnaires administered to surviving participants of the male Manitoba Follow-up Study cohort (www.mfus.ca) in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 (n = 2,043 men were alive at a mean age of 78 years in 1996). One question on each survey asked: "What is YOUR definition of successful aging?" Applying content analysis to the 5,898 narratives received over the 11 years, we developed a coding system encompassing 21 main themes and 86 sub-themes defining successful aging. We quantitatively analyzed trends in prevalence of themes of successful aging prospectively over time. Our findings empirically support colleagues' past suggestions to shift from defining successful aging in primarily biomedical terms, by taking lay views into account.
As a result of the ageing population, there is an urgent need for innovation in community health-care in order to achieve sustainability. Reablement is implemented in primary care in some Western countries to help meet these challenges. However, evidence to support the use of such home-based rehabilitation is limited. Reablement focuses on early, time-intensive, multidisciplinary, multi-component and individualised home-based rehabilitation for older adults with functional decline. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of reablement in home-dwelling adults compared with standard treatment in relation to daily activities, physical functioning, health-related quality of life, use of health-care services, and costs.
The study will be a 1:1 parallel-group randomised controlled superiority trial conducted in a rural municipality in Norway. The experimental group will be offered reablement and the control group offered standard treatment. A computer-generated permuted block randomisation sequence, with randomly selected block sizes, will be used for allocation. Neither participants nor health-care providers will be blinded, however all research assistants and researchers will be blinded. The sample size will consist of 60 participants. People will be eligible if they are home-dwelling, over 18 years of age, understand Norwegian and have functional decline. The exclusion criteria will be people in need of institution-based rehabilitation or nursing home placement, and people who are terminally ill or cognitively reduced. The primary outcome will be self-perceived performance, and satisfaction with performance of daily activities, assessed with the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. In addition, physical capacity, health-related quality of life, use of health-care services, and cost data will be collected at baseline, and after 3 and 9 months in both groups, and again after 15 months in the intervention group. Data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis using a linear mixed model for repeated measures.
The findings will make an important contribution to evaluating cost-effective and evidence-based rehabilitation approaches for community-dwelling adults.
The trial was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov November 20, 2012, identifier: NCT02043262.
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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.
With population ageing, there is an increased interest in how to promote a good old age. A predominant concept in these discussions is successful ageing, which is mainly based on researchers' definitions. This article aims to explore successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people (24 persons aged 77-90 years). Individual open interviews were conducted and analysed according to qualitative content analysis. An overarching theme was formulated as "self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance". This embraced the content of four categories: "having sufficient bodily resources for security and opportunities", "structures that promote security and opportunities", "feeling valuable in relation to the outside world", and "choosing gratitude instead of worries". Ageing seems to be a dynamic process rather than a static structure and might therefore be susceptible to actions. Paying attention to attitudes and treating the older person with respect, particularly with regard to worries about increasing vulnerability, can lead to better ways of promoting successful ageing.