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Journal article

Participant perspectives on home visitation services for older people

Author:
QUIRKE Michael
Journal article citation:
Irish Social Worker, Autumn 2012, pp.7-12.
Publisher:
Irish Association of Social Workers

The CONNECT project aim to alleviate loneliness among older people in Ireland. The project trains volunteers to carry out weekly one hour home visits where the volunteer talks and listens to older people. This research investigated the CONNECT home visitation project from the perspective of the service users. Interviews were conducted with 6 older people. Participants expressed high levels of satisfaction with the support they received. The project was perceived as making an important contribution to the lives of older adults in the area of social interaction. Based on the findings, the author presents six recommendations for the project.

Journal article

Depression: a modifiable factor in fearful older fallers transitioning to frailty?

Authors:
MHAOLÁIN Aine M. Ni, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(7), July 2012, pp.727-733.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

It is suggested that fear of falling, one of the most common fears among community-dwelling older people, is as serious a health problem as the falls themselves. It often leads to activity avoidance. The authors believe that understanding fear of falling may help to identify strategies to reduce concern in the vulnerable old. This cross sectional study evaluated the psychological factors associated with fear of falling in a group of fallers transitioning to frailty compared with robust or non-frail fallers. A total of 301 fallers (mean age 75 years) underwent assessment. Fear of falling was measured using the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale, and frailty using the Biological Syndrome Model. Psychological assessment included anxiety, depression, loneliness, personality factors and cognition. Frailer fallers had increased fear of falling compared to robust fallers. Age, female gender and lower cognitive scores were associated with greater fear of falling in the robust group. For frailer fallers, higher depression score was the only factor associated with fear of falling. The odds ratio of having case level depressive disorder if a frail faller was significantly higher than if robust. The authors conclude that fallers at a transitional level of frailty may be particularly vulnerable group psychologically and would benefit most from interventional strategies focussing on depressive symptoms.

Journal article

Psychological distress as a key component of psychosocial functioning in community-dwelling older people

Authors:
SCHNITTGER Rebecca I. B., et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 16(1-2), January 2012, pp.199-207.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Psychological distress is a critical issue affecting the quality of life in older adults with implications for both mental and physical health. The aim of this study was to explore the key components of psychosocial functioning in older adults with a focus on identifying the constituents of psychological distress. Another aim was to examine the relationship between these components and health outcomes such as frailty. The study was conducted at the Technology Research for Independent Living Clinic, a comprehensive geriatric assessment facility in Dublin. As part of a structured clinical assessment, 579 participants completed 9 primary psychosocial measures as well as a broad range of health and demographic secondary assessments. Principal factor analysis identified 3 core dimensions of the construct of psychosocial functioning. The first is related to a core internal component of psychological distress. The 2 other components are related to external and physiological functioning, specifically social support networks and sleep. These components, particularly psychological distress, were found to be associated with health outcomes associated with frailty.

Journal article

Late life depression: a comparison of risk factors and symptoms according to age of onset in community dwelling older adults

Authors:
GALLAGHER Damien, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(10), October 2010, pp.981-987.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Late onset depression is often associated with acquired organic pathology, with patients less likely to report a family history of depression. The majority of previous studies have been in hospital populations. This study addressed this question in a sample of community dwelling older adults. Participants included 89 subjects with GMS-AGECAT depression who were identified from a sample of 1,231 community dwelling adults aged 65 and over. Subjects were analysed across a range of aetiological and phenomenological variables according to age of onset of first depressive episode. Findings indicated that subjects with late onset depression were significantly less likely to report a family history of depression, were less likely to report previous hospitalisation for depression and had greater cognitive impairment. Late onset subjects were also less likely to report feelings of guilt or thoughts that life was not worth living in the previous month. While patients with late onset depression differed from early onset patients according to certain aetiological risk factors, there was not a distinctive profile of depressive symptomatology which might be considered clinically useful – findings consistent with previous hospital-based studies.

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

Re-visioning respite: a culture change initiative in a long-term care setting in Eire

Authors:
KELLY Marguerite, McSWEENEY Eileen
Journal article citation:
Quality in Ageing, 10(3), September 2009, pp.4-11.
Publisher:
Pier Professional
Place of publication:
Brighton

Respite care is one of the services most frequently requested by family carers, but places are often not taken up because of carers’ concerns about the quality of the respite experience. This paper describes the formation of a new respite unit at St Ita’s Hospital in Ireland and staff’s efforts to create a respite experience that more closely reflects the older person’s home environment. The initial focus was on providing more choice in terms of the food served and the times of meals. The challenges of introducing even small changes to the delivery of care are considered, and the need for a more widespread and sustained approach to culture change is promoted.

Journal article

Breaking the mould: new trajectories in the domiciliary care of older people in Ireland

Authors:
DOYLE Martha, TIMONEN Virpi
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Social Welfare, 17(4), October 2008, pp.324-332.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This article reviews the development of domiciliary care services for older people in Ireland over the last decade. It reveals three central developments, namely (i) the first steps, in the Irish context, towards a quasi-market; (ii) the introduction of cash-for-care and the subsequent notable segmentation of care tasks among three provider groups; and (iii) a rapidly increasing reliance on for-profit private home care providers. The authors conclude that while the Irish social care regime is still anchored in important ways in the primacy of informal (family) care and the subsidiarity principle, it has broken path-dependency by evolving towards an increasingly complex mix of public, not-for-profit and for-profit provision and financing. The most policy-relevant aspect of this new constellation is the lack of a regulatory framework that would enable the State to monitor the multiple and diverse providers with the view to ensuring the quality of home care services.

Journal article

Older people – recipients but also providers of informal care: an analysis among community samples in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Authors:
MCGEE Hannah M., et al
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 16(5), September 2008, pp.548-553.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Data on both the provision and receipt of informal care among populations of older adults are limited. Patterns of both informal care provided and received by older adults in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) and Northern Ireland (NI) were evaluated. A cross-sectional community-based population survey was conducted. Randomly selected older people (aged 65+, n = 2033, mean age (standard deviation): 74.1 years (6.8), 43% men, 68% response rate) provided information on the provision and receipt of care, its location, and the person(s) who provided the care. Twelve per cent of the sample (251/2033) identified themselves as informal caregivers (8% RoI and 17% NI). Caregivers were more likely to be women, married, have less education and have less functional impairment. Forty-nine per cent reported receiving some form of care in the past year. Care recipients were more likely to be older, married, have more functional impairment, and poorer self-rated health. Receiving regular informal care (help at least once a week) from a non-resident relative was the most common form of help received. Five per cent (n = 102/2033) of the sample reported both providing and receiving informal care. Levels of informal care provided by community-dwelling older adults were notably higher than reported in single-item national census questions. The balance of formal and informal health and social care will become increasingly important as populations age. It is essential, therefore, to evaluate factors facilitating or impeding informal care delivery.

Journal article

The practice of geriatric psychiatry in three countries: observations of an American in the British Isles

Author:
REIFLER B.V.
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 12(8), August 1997, pp.795-807.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The author compares the practice of geriatric psychiatry among the three countries: Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Reviews how the practice of geriatric psychiatry is carried out, and the mental health services available in each country, including organisational characteristics. Findings suggest the USA is the most entrepreneurial of the three, Britain's greatest strength is the uniformity and comprehensiveness of its services, and Ireland provides an excellent model for nations of comparable size. Also found that considerable change is occurring in all three countries.

Book

Empowering older people: an international approach

Editors:
THURSZ Daniel, NUSBERG Charlotte, PRATHER Johnnie
Publisher:
Cassell
Publication year:
1995
Pagination:
233p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

Presents papers from experts from 17 countries on empowering older people as individuals, through organisations, and in developing countries.

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