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Journal article

The positivity effect in older adults: the role of affective interference and inhibition

Authors:
GOELEVEN Ellen, DE RAEDT Rudi, DIERCKX Eva
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 14(2), March 2010, pp.129-137.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Research shows that aging often involves a decrease in the experience of negative affect and might even be associated with a stabilisation or an increase in experience concerning positive affect. As it has been suggested that these changes could be related to the processing of emotional information, the aim of this study was to investigate interference and inhibition toward sad and happy faces in healthy elderly people compared to a younger population. The study used an affective modification of the negative priming task, and hypothesised that the results would show reduced interference from negative stimuli and a related weakened inhibition toward negative stimuli in the elderly group. The participants were 27 adults between the ages of 67 and 82 years. As expected, the results indicated that interference from negative stimuli was significantly lower in older adults as compared to younger adults, whereas this was not the case for positive stimuli. Moreover, at the inhibitory level a significantly reduced processing of negative stimuli was observed only in the older adult group, whereas there was no such effect in the case of positive material. The article concludes that these observations are indicative for a decreased negative bias in older adults at the information processing level. This provides new insights with regard to age-related differences in emotion processing.

Journal article

Living with dementia from the perspective of older people: is it a positive story?

Author:
STEEMAN Els
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 11(2), March 2007, pp.119-130.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Dementia, even at an early stage, may pose problems and challenge one's quality of life. Having accurate knowledge of what one experiences when living with dementia is important for developing proactive care for individuals with dementia and their families. The aim of this Grounded Theory study was to explore what it means for elderly people to live with early-stage dementia. This study interviewed 20 elderly people with probable mild dementia and their family members drawn from five memory clinics in Flanders, Belgium. Living with dementia was often presented as a positive narrative, one that told of only minor problems and which stressed abilities and contentment with life. Being valued, rather than losing one's cognition or identity was central in their experience. More in-depth analyses of participants' narratives revealed, however, that they were constantly balancing their feelings of value and worthlessness, struggling to remain someone of value. This struggle was prompted by threats posed by dementia and by the persons' interactions with others. Superficially, a positive narrative may be understood as a lack of awareness or as denial due to cognitive loss. The findings suggest, however, that we should look beyond this superficial view and seek to understand the narrative as an expression of one's attempt to counterbalance devaluation.

Journal article

Self-serving appraisal as a cognitive coping strategy to deal with age-related limitations: an empirical study with elderly adults in a real-life stressful situation

Authors:
DE RAEDT Rudi, PONJAERT-KRISTOFFERSEN I.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 10(2), March 2006, pp.195-203.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Elderly people are often confronted with stressful events that threaten psychological homeostasis. Nevertheless, the lack of a general age-related drop in life satisfaction remains intriguing. The objective of this study was to analyze the basic mechanisms of perceived control and self-protective processes. Eighty-four elderly adults who underwent a fitness-to-drive evaluation were asked how they appraised their performance in a driving simulation task and were classified as over-estimators versus people who estimated their performance correctly and people who didn’t overestimate their performance. Decreased physical resources were related to self-serving appraisal and less depressive feelings. The results are in line with theories on self-immunizing processes and provide support for the use of cognitive therapies in dealing with age-related limitations.

Journal article

Concluding commentary

Author:
LEAPER Robert
Journal article citation:
Social Policy and Administration, 27(3), September 1993, pp.257-265.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Draws conclusions from a series of companion studies on the views of older people in cities in the United Kingdom, Eire, Belgium and France.

Book

Contrasting European policies for the care of the elderly

Editors:
JAMIESON Anne, ILLSLEY Raymond
Publisher:
Avebury
Publication year:
1990
Pagination:
199p., tables, bibliogs.
Place of publication:
London

Looks at Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. Part 1 examines the relationship between formal and informal care, Part 2 deals with care systems and care delivery problems. Includes chapter by Ian Sinclair, Peter Gorbach, Enid Levin and Jenny Williams: 'Community care and residential admissions: results from two empirical studies'.

Journal article

Meaning in Life and depressive symptoms: a person-oriented approach in residential and community-dwelling older adults

Authors:
VAN DER HEYDEN Karen, DEZUTTER Jessie, BEYERS Wim
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 19(12), 2015, pp.1063-1070.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

In current society, an increasing population of older adults and a high prevalence of depressive symptoms in late life is noticeable. A possible protective resource is ‘Meaning in Life’. The objective of this study is to identify from a person-oriented view (a) Meaning in Life-profiles, based on Presence of Meaning and Search for Meaning dimensions, and (b) their associations with depressive symptoms. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Commercial, non-profit and governmental residential elderly care in Flanders: differences in client selection and efficiency?

Authors:
VERSCHUERE Bram, MORAY Nathalie, DECRAMER Adelien
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(4), October 2012, pp.384-392.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Public services which were initially delivered by public organisations have increasingly been transferred to the market. This has led to debate about the commercialisation of public service delivery and its consequences for the nature of service delivery. In the care of the elderly, there has been a substantial increase in commercial provision. This study aimed to explore differences in the performance of public, private non-profit and private commercial elderly care organisations. The data were collected in 2007 by the Flemish Inspection Agency, which is responsible for monitoring the quality of elderly care facilities. Of the 727 facilities in the sample, 227 were public, 372 were private non-profit, and 128 were private commercial. Quantitative indicators were used to measure client selection (the percentage of residents with dementia or high care needs) and input efficiency (the ratio between the number of staff and residents). The findings show that commercial elderly care facilities tend to be more input-efficient while non-profit and public elderly care facilities tend to be more attentive to recruiting and housing residents with high care needs. However, these results need to be interpreted in light of the regulatory framework in which the different types of elderly care facilities operate.

Book Full text available online for free

Care regimes on the move: comparing home care for dependent older people in Belgium, England, Germany and Italy

Authors:
DEGAVRE Florence, et al
Publisher:
Universite Catholique de Louvan. Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche Travail, Etat et Societe
Publication year:
2012
Pagination:
290p.
Place of publication:
Charleroi

Taking the reforms of the 1990s as its starting point, this report examines the dynamics of change experienced by Belgium, England, Germany and Italy in their home care sectors. Central to our analysis is the process of “marketisation”. This constitutes one of the major trends in all these four countries, yet its nature and impact show important national variations. The data referred to in this report relate to developments in and around various home care sectors, and cover both societal and organisational dynamics. Country-based research teams gathered the information, each team following identical methodological guidelines. This report uses official documents and grey literature from the care sector to analyse the discourses underpinning reforms in the field. The conclusions of this research will be of relevance for any country or region struggling to design a home care system for an ageing population. The coordinators of this research project have submitted a proposal for a special issue of Ageing and Society based on the main chapters of this report.

Journal article

Physical environmental correlates of self-reported and objectively assessed physical activity in Belgian type 2 diabetes patients

Authors:
GREEF Karlijn De, et al
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 19(2), March 2011, pp.178-188.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Although physical activity (PA) has benefits for older people suffering from type 2 diabetes, the majority of this group are inactive. This study investigated the associations of physical environmental factors with self-reported PA in 133 type 2 diabetes patients, with the aim of developing interventions to increase PA participation. Participants wore an accelerometer and a pedometer to measure PA objectively. Findings revealed that physical environmental factors were significant in the variance of all objective and self-reported PA measures, where home PA equipment, walkability, aesthetics and convenience of PA facilities were the most consistent environmental correlates. The contribution of environmental factors remained significant for most PA measures after taking into account the variance explained by psychosocial factors, except for step counts and recreational walking. In conclusion, environmental factors could be important correlates of PA in type 2 diabetes patients, but additional research is needed. Sociodemographic and psychosocial factors should be considered when developing future interventions.

Journal article

Effect of caring for an older person on women's lifetime participation in work

Author:
JASMINE MASUY Amandine
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 29(5), July 2009, pp.745-763.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This paper examines the relationship between informal care and ending paid work for working women of three age groups (up to 30, 31–49 and 50 or more years) in 1995 in Belgium. It explores the effect of being a carer for older adults on the probability of ceasing to work. Most particularly, it focuses on the effect of the care intensity in the different age groups. The analyses use data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). A sample of 24,592 working women living in 11 European countries was followed from 1995 to 2001. Multivariate analyses for the entire sample show that the simple fact of caring or not did not influence the probability of ceasing work, but that providing light care had a negative effect, suggesting the presence of a respite effect. As for the effects specific to each age group, caring did not have any effect for women aged 31 to 49 years, but for the other two age groups, women who provided light care were less likely to cease work than those not caring for an older person. In contrast, providing heavy care increased the probability of ceasing work, but only for those aged 50 or more years. The findings suggest that studies of and policies related to informal care and its consequences should give more attention to age group differences.

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