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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

Does sense of coherence affect the relationship between self-rated health and health status in a sample of community-dwelling frail elderly people?

Authors:
SAEVAREID H. I., et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 11(6), November 2007, pp.658-667.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

The objective of this Norwegian study was to examine the association between self-rated health (SRH) and physical, functional, social and mental health measures in community dwelling elderly people needing nursing care. Of special interest was how coping resources (SOC) influenced this relationship. Self-rated health is a good predictor of future health status as measured by mortality and morbidity, decline of functional abilities, use of healthcare, and nursing home placement. The high mean age and the relatively high level of care-dependency in this sample, make this investigation important. A hierarchical regression analysis was applied in a cross sectional sample of 242 elderly (mean age 84.6 years). Results found subjective health complaints (SHC) in both sexes, and psychological distress (only in men), was associated directly with SRH. Coping resources associated with SRH directly, and indirectly through subjective perceived health (SHC and GHQ) but only in men. The influence of registered illness was mediated through the effects of subjectively perceived health in both women and men. Sex differences moderated the effects of SOC on SRH. Subjectively perceived health was more important in the perception of SRH than objective health measures. Men, in contrast to women, tend to convert physical illness into emotional distress.

Journal article

Socio-demographic and other characteristics in persons 50 years and older with HIV/AIDS in five countries

Authors:
NOKES Kathleen M., et al
Journal article citation:
Global Ageing, 4(2), August 2006, pp.5-13.

This article describes socio-demographic and HIV-related characteristics of people aged 50 and older living with HIV/AIDS in Columbia, Norway, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and the United States. The article is based on findings from a small cross-national study where participants completed an extensive socio-demographic survey. The sample consisted of 175 people from the United States, 10 from Puerto Rico, 17 from Taiwan, 19 from Norway and 9 from Colombia.

Journal article

Depressive symptom profile in Parkinson's disease: a comparison with depression in elderly patients without Parkinson's disease

Authors:
EHRT Uwe, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(3), March 2006, pp.252-258.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Depression is a common neuropsychiatric syndrome in Parkinson's disease (PD), and may be etiologically related to the neurochemical changes accompanying this disease. It is still unclear whether the disturbances of neurotransmitter activities lead to a specific profile of depressive symptoms, that is characteristic for PD and differs from that in depressed patients without PD.  The authors compared the individual depressive symptoms of 145 non-demented depressed patients with PD and 100 depressed patients without PD by comparing item scores on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale by way of MANCOVA. The severity of depression and the level of cognitive functioning in depressed PD patients were comparable with that of depressed control subjects. However, patients with PD showed significant less reported sadness, less anhedonia, less feelings of guilt and, slightly less loss of energy, but more concentration problems than depressed control subjects. The profile of depressive symptoms in PD differs from that in depressed subjects without PD. This finding is important for the conceptualisation and clinical diagnosis of depression in PD.

Journal article

The association between depression, anxiety, and cognitive function in the elderly general population - the Hordaland Health Study

Authors:
BIRINGER Eva, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(10), October 2005, pp.989-997.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The participants in this study were 1,930 non-demented participants from the general population aged 72-74 years. Symptoms and caseness of depression and anxiety disorder were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Cognitive function was assessed by the Digit Symbol Test (modified version), the Kendrick Object Learning Test, and the S-task from the Controlled Oral Word Association Test. The results found a significant association between depression and reduced cognitive function. The inverse association between anxiety and reduced cognitive performance was explained by adjustment for co-morbid depression. The inverse association between depressive symptoms and cognitive function was found to be close to linear, and was also present in the sub-clinical symptom range. Males were more affected cognitively by depressive symptoms than females. The inverse association between depression and cognitive function is not only a finding restricted to severely ill patient samples, but it can also be found in the elderly general population.

Journal article

The role of voluntary organizations in the care of the elderly in Norway

Author:
AMOAKO-ADDO Yaw
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 17(1), 2005, pp.83-102.
Publisher:
Routledge
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This paper describes the contributions of voluntary organizations to the provision of social services for the elderly in Norway. It presents data on the volume of social services provided by Norwegian voluntary organizations and discusses the recognition that the central government gives to such organizations, as well as the conditions for supporting voluntary organizations in the Norwegian welfare state. The analysis indicates the scope of the contributions made by these organizations in caring for older people. Though the size of contributions made by the voluntary organizations has been declining rapidly in recent years, the Norwegian government still recognizes their past contributions and the role they can play within the framework of the welfare state's social services for the aged. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580)

Journal article

A country where dementia has come in from the cold

Author:
LINDSAY Margot
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dementia Care, 10(1), January 2002, pp.11-12.
Publisher:
Hawker

Reports on services for people with dementia in Norway.

Journal article

Those who cannot have what they want must want what they can get

Author:
HALVORSEN Knut
Journal article citation:
Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 3(2), April 1994, pp.50-60.
Publisher:
Munksgaard/ Blackwell

Early retirement in a central bridge between permanent work and standard pension age. During 1988-1989 10% of all private Norwegian companies, employing about 20% of all employees, had made use of early retirement schemes, mainly as a way of reducing staff. A central question is whether early retirement creates welfare or reduces it for the early retirees. Case studies of four companies and panel studies of potential early retirees have been used to throw light on these questions: what are the experiences of those involved, and do they wish to leave work or is leave taken involuntarily? Only 1 of 7 early retirees adapted poorly, mostly due to poor health, a strong work orientation combined with unfilled expectations for part-time work and the feeling that they had no choice but to accept the offer. The majority seem to adjust fairly well to life as a pensioner, especially if they have some part-time work. Besides high financial compensation, satisfaction with early retirement depends on whether the scheme is regarded as legitimate in the community and the individual considers the transition to be meaningful.

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.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Driving forces for home-based reablement; a qualitative study of older adults’ experiences

Authors:
HJELLE Kari Margrete, et al
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 25(5), 2017, pp.1581-1589.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Reablement is an early and time-limited home-based intervention with emphasis on intensive, goal-oriented and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for older adults in need of rehabilitation or at risk of functional decline. The aim of this qualitative study was to describe how older adults experienced participation in reablement. Eight older adults participated in semi-structured interviews. A qualitative content analysis was used as the analysis strategy. Four main themes emerged from the participants’ experiences of participating in reablement: ‘My willpower is needed’, ‘Being with my stuff and my people’, ‘The home-trainers are essential’, and ‘Training is physical exercises, not everyday activities’. The first three themes in particular reflected the participants’ driving forces in the reablement process. Driving forces are intrinsic motivation in interaction with extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation was based on the person's willpower and responsibility, and extrinsic motivation was expressed to be strengthened by being in one's home environment with ‘own’ people, as well as by the co-operation with the reablement team. The reablement team encouraged and supported the older adults to regain confidence in performing everyday activities as well as participating in the society. The findings contributing to an understanding of how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation influence reablement. Some persons need apparently more extrinsic motivational support also after the time-limited reablement period is completed. The municipal health and care services need to consider individualised follow-up programmes after the intensive reablement period in order to maintain the achieved skills to perform everyday activities and participate in society. (Edited publisher abstract)

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