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.
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 paradigm surrounding the delivery of care for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) is shifting from a deficit-based approach to a support-based approach. However, it is unclear whether measures of support act as a proxy for adaptive functioning.
A sample of 40 staff or family members of individuals with ID completed the Supports Intensity Scale and the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised, Short Form. Correlations were used to examine the relationship between these scales.
The subscales of the Supports Intensity Scale as well as the overall support needs index were highly correlated with both the Broad Independence W score and the support score (which reflects both maladaptive and adaptive behaviours) of the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised.
The strong correlations between these two scales confirm previous findings that current measures of support and measures of adaptive behaviour tap into the same underlying construct. These findings have implications for the development, use and interpretation of research and planning tools.
To identify the health-related needs of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss.
Qualitative study using semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
A large community in Newfoundland.
Twenty-two adults between the ages of 58 and 80 years.
This needs assessment used a qualitative methodology of collecting and analyzing narrative data to develop an understanding of the issues, resources, and constraints of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss. Data were collected through semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenologic analysis.
Three constitutive patterns with relational themes and subthemes were identified: forgetting and remembering, normalizing yet questioning, and having limited knowledge of resources. Participants described many examples of how their daily lives were affected by forgetfulness. They had very little knowledge of resources that provided information or support. Most of the participants believed they could not discuss their memory problems with their family doctors.
It is important for older adults with mild memory loss to have access to resources that will assist them in understanding their condition and make them feel supported.
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Despite the proliferation of age-friendly cities in Canada that are intended to support older adults to age well, there are still many inequalities between groups of older adults, particularly, and of concern for this paper, between Indigenous older adults, who experience colonialism's ongoing impacts, and non-Indigenous older adults. A better understanding of factors that inform these inequalities will help in the development of policies and programs that better support Indigenous older adults to age well and, thus, will contribute to ameliorating the inequalities that they face. Using a community-based participatory research approach, informed by a postcolonial theoretical lens, in this paper we addressed the question, "what community-level factors contribute to Indigenous older adults (aged 55 years and over) feeling supported to age well in the city of Ottawa?" We specifically examined this question in relation to the age-friendly communities framework, which guides the City of Ottawa's Older Adult Plan. Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and photovoice with 32 First Nations and Inuit older adults revealed that the participants felt both supported and unsupported to age well. More specifically, there were two main areas in which they felt they could be better supported to age well: the social environment and physical environment. There were three subthemes within the social environment theme: responsive health and community support services, respect and recognition, and communication and information. Within the physical environment theme there were four subthemes: transportation, housing, accessibility, and gathering space. The results demonstrate that despite there being similarities in the areas that the participants felt they needed support and the areas on which the Older Adult Plan focuses, if the domains of aging well initiatives do not better account for the impacts of colonialism, it is unlikely that they will be effective in supporting Indigenous older adults' health and well-being.
The Life-Space Assessment (LSA), developed in the USA, is an instrument focusing on mobility with respect to reaching different areas defined as life-spaces, extending from the room where the person sleeps to mobility outside one's hometown. A newly translated Swedish version of the LSA (LSA-S) has been tested for test-retest reliability, but the validity remains to be tested. The purpose of the present study was to examine the concurrent validity of the LSA-S, by comparing and correlating the LSA scores to other measures of mobility.
The LSA was included in a population-based study of health, functioning and mobility among older persons in Sweden, and the present analysis comprised 312 community-dwelling participants. To test the concurrent validity, the LSA scores were compared to a number of other mobility-related variables, including the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) as well as "stair climbing", "transfers", "transportation", "food shopping", "travel for pleasure" and "community activities". The LSA total mean scores for different levels of the other mobility-related variables, and measures of correlation were calculated.
Higher LSA total mean scores were observed with higher levels of all the other mobility related variables. Most of the correlations between the LSA and the other mobility variables were large (r?=?0.5-1.0) and significant at the 0.01 level. The LSA total score, as well as independent life-space and assistive life-space correlated with transportation (0.63, 0.66, 0.64) and food shopping (0.55, 0.58, 0.55). Assistive life-space also correlated with SPPB (0.47). With respect to maximal life-space, the correlations with the mobility-related variables were generally lower (below 0.5), probably since this aspect of life-space mobility is highly influenced by social support and is not so dependent on the individual's own physical function.
LSA was shown to be a valid measure of mobility when using the LSA total, independent LS or assistive LSA.
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
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.
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.