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Journal article

Is the association between social capital and health robust across Nordic regions? Evidence from a cross-sectional study of older adults

Authors:
NYQVIST Fredrica, NYGARD Mikael
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Social Welfare, 22(2), 2013, pp.119-129.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The study examined the association between structural and cognitive social capital and self-rated health among 65- and 75-year-olds in Vsterbotten in Sweden and Österbotten and Pohjanmaa in Finland. Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey conducted in 2005 and was answered by 3,370 persons, yielding a total response rate of 69 per cent. The association between self-rated health and interpersonal trust and membership in organisations was tested by logistic regression analysis. The results showed that older adults in Vsterbotten in Sweden experienced better self-rated health than in Finland. Furthermore, interpersonal trust and active membership in organisations were associated with self-rated health among 65- and 75-year olds even after having controlled for the influence of region. We therefore conclude that the association between social capital and self-rated health tends to be robust across contextually similar regions, but that further analyses are warranted in order to clarify the nature of this relationship. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Help from spouse and from children among older people with functional limitations: comparison of England and Finland

Authors:
BLOMGREN Jenni, et al
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 32(6), August 2012, pp.905-933.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This study, using nationally representative data from England and Finland, investigated receipt of help from spouse and children among community-dwelling people aged 70+ years with functional limitations. In both countries, women and those with more functional limitations had higher odds of receiving spousal and filial help. In England, but not in Finland, those receiving formal public help had lower odds of receiving spousal help than those with no formal help. Those with low education received more filial help in England, but no association was found between formal and filial help. In Finland, the effect of education was not significant but those receiving formal help had higher odds of also receiving filial help. The results suggest that in a liberal market-led state, the role of children may be to help their parents living alone and with low financial resources. The authors concluded that, in the context of a generous welfare state, children may function more as active agents bridging the gap between their parents and traditional services.

Book Full text available online for free

Ageing and well-being in an international context

Author:
CLIFTON Jonathan
Publisher:
Institute for Public Policy Research
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
36p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

The author asks what lessons the UK can learn from several case studies from overseas about how the well-being of older people can be incorporated into a wider range of policy areas than those, traditionally, of pensions, health and social care. For example, in the UK an ageing population brings more focus onto mental health, loneliness and isolation issues, whereas life satisfaction is highest in Japan among those over 65. In addition, case studies from Ireland, the United States, Norway, Finland, New Zealand and China are presented with much variation in findings. Examples of how the well-being of older people can be addressed in the four key areas of relationships, work, learning and the built environment are discussed and put forward by the author as good practice for the future of an ageing population in the UK.

Journal article

The outdoor mobility and leisure activities of older people in five European countries

Authors:
GAGLIARDI Christina, et al
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 27(5), September 2007, pp.683-700.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Many gerontological studies have dealt with the leisure activities of older people and they have generated many important theories. Although outdoor activities and mobility promote good health in old age, both decrease with increasing age as people lose physical and mental functions. This paper examines the outdoor and indoor leisure activities of 3,950 older adults and their variations by personal and environmental characteristics in Germany, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Italy. The main dimensions of activity were established by factor analysis, and in all countries four factors were found: home activities, hobbies, social activities, and sports activities. Both similar and distinctive pursuits characterised each dimension among the five countries. ‘Home activities’ mainly comprised indoor activities, but the other three dimensions involved more physical mobility. The scores of various socio-environmental characteristics on the factors enabled the attributes of the participants to be profiled. Sports activities and hobbies were performed more often by younger men, by those with good physical functioning and by those who drove cars. Social activities were performed more by women and those who used public transport. Home activities were more frequently performed by those with low physical function and women.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Let people loose

Author:
LLOYD Mark
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 26.10.06, 2006, pp.32-33.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

This article provides a comparison of older care in Finland and the UK, based on a study visit by staff from Kent Community Housing Trust to the combined health and social services department in the Espoo region. The article concentrates on lessons to be learned for older care – particularly residential – in the UK. It focuses on the benefits of nursing and social care combined services, contrasting Finland’s guiding principle that “regulation stifles the soul” in older care, with the UK approach of overregulation.

Journal article

Community prevalence of alcohol use and concomitant use of medication - a source of possible risk in the elderly aged 75 and older?

Authors:
AIRA Marja, HARTIKAINEN Sirpa, SULKAVA Raimo
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(7), July 2005, pp.680-685.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study explores alcohol use and concomitant use of prescription and over the counter (OTC) medicines in people aged 75 years or over. The study used a community-based randomized survey of home-dwelling older people in the City of Kuopio, Finland. A random sample  of 700 persons aged 75 years or over was used, of whom 601 participated (86%). Only 523 home-dwellers were included in this study. Of the participants, 44% used alcohol. Most alcohol drinkers used medications on a regular basis (86.9%) or as needed (87.8%), among them medicines known to have some potential interactions with alcohol. Elevated mean corpuscular volume was more widespread among alcohol drinkers than non drinkers. The authors conclude theoretical risks posed by alcohol use are not minimal in the older elderly, though the quantity of alcohol use is not considerable. Physicians and nurses should pay attention to chronic diseases and medications when counselling aged people about alcohol consumption. The question of clinical importance of alcohol-medication interactions needs to be studied further.

Journal article

Building bridges: designing for elderly people

Author:
HOGAN Paul
Journal article citation:
Access by Design, 67, May 1995, pp.14-16.
Publisher:
Centre for Accessible Environments

An extract from a paper delivered to a second year post-graduate course on gerontechnology in Oulu, Finland. Discusses the needs of the elderly consumer and the desirability of an inclusive design philosophy in responding to them.

Journal article

Australia's retirement income revolution: a Finnish system 'down-under'

Author:
OLSBERG D.
Journal article citation:
Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 4(1), January 1995, pp.8-18.
Publisher:
Munksgaard/ Blackwell

This article first examines Australia's retirement income system, recent government policy changes and likely implications of these retirement policy changes for the future of Australia's traditional welfare state. Cross-national comparisons of the retirement income regimes in Finland and Australia, identifying international best practice in each country, comprise the second half of the article. Such comparisons will be of interest to policy-makers seeking new policy directions.

Journal article

Mot en ny institutionsvardag. (Towards a new everyday life in institutions.)

Author:
VILJARANTA Liisa
Journal article citation:
Nordisk Sosialt Arbeid, 13(4), 1993, pp.19-27.
Publisher:
Universitetsforlaget AS

Describes a development project carried out in some institutions for the elderly in Finland. The project lasted almost three years, with the aim of changing the everyday life of the institution so that there would be greater scope for self-determination and participation for the older people. All the employees, from the superintendent to the caretaker, took part in the development and the associated group work, which was the most important working form used by the project.

Journal article

Ideals lost? Current trends in Scandinavian welfare policies on ageing

Author:
DAATLAND Svein Olav
Journal article citation:
Journal of European Social Policy, 2(1), 1992, pp.33-47.
Publisher:
Sage

Considers the extent to which the traditional ideals underlying the Scandinavian welfare state - solidaristic and egalitarian - are under threat in the light of signs of less state ambition, and public criticisms about the amount of public expenditure.

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