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Journal article

Exploring the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening for older adults

Authors:
SCOTT Theresa L., MASSER Barbara M., PACHANA Nancy A.
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 35(10), 2015, pp.2176-2200.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Research shows that contact with nature plays a vital role in our psychological wellbeing. Domestic gardening is common among older adults who spend more leisure hours gardening than any other age group. Despite this, few studies have systematically explored the significance of domestic gardens in relation to older adults' health and wellbeing. This study examined the perceived therapeutic benefits of gardening, and the effect of ageing in relation to older gardeners' continued participation in gardening, using quantitative and qualitative data from a survey of Australian older adult gardeners (N=331). The quantitative data, which included frequencies, were analysed using the PASW Statistics 18.0 package. The qualitative data, which included participants' responses to open questions, were analysed by deriving themes via Leximancer, an innovative text analytics software that uses word association information to elicit concepts, extracting the most important and grouping these according to themes. In relation to the reasons for gardening, several themes were identified including valuing the aesthetics of gardens, connecting with nature, achievement, and physical and mental activity. The benefits of gardening, and the variety of ways that respondents had adapted or modified their gardening activities in order to continue, are also reported. Gardening was more than a casual leisure pursuit for these participants, who saw it as critical to their physical and psychological wellbeing. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Health capital in everyday life of the oldest old living in their own homes

Authors:
BERGLAND Astrid, SLETTEBO Ashild
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 35(10), 2015, pp.2156-2175.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

As more people experience old age as a time of growth and productivity, more research is needed that explores how they master everyday life. This paper reports on a qualitative study that explored how ten older women age 90 years or more experience and cope with the challenges of everyday life with a salutogenic perspective. The findings suggest that health resources such as positive expectation, reflection and adaptation, function and active contribution, relations and home, contribute to the health capital of women. These health resources were of importance for the women's experience of comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness in daily life. Health capital is a meaningful concept for understanding coping in everyday life by older people. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Personality's association with IADLs in community dwelling older adults

Authors:
PUENTE Antonio Nicolas, LINDBERGH Cutter A., MILLER Stephen L.
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30(9), 2015, pp.950-956.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objectives: Preliminary evidence suggests that openness and agreeableness are associated with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). However, how personality is related to IADLs remains unclear. This study aims to determine how personality factors predict performance of (IADLs), which it was hypothesised, was because of executive functioning (EF). Methods: Participants were a total of 65 independent community dwelling older adults. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions were completed to determine the associations between openness and agreeableness with IADLs. Lastly, mediation analyses were completed to examine the hypothesis that EF would mediate this relationship Results: Correlation and regression findings support the relationship between openness and IADLs but not agreeableness and IADLs. As hypothesised, the relationship between openness and IADLs was mediated by EF. Conclusions: The research replicated the relationship between openness and IADLs and extend the literature by showing the mechanism of action for this relationship is EF. While the mediation results support this perspective, future research should determine if interventions that increase older adults' EF, in turn, increase or attenuate decline in IADLs over time. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Hoarding severity predicts functional disability in late-life hoarding disorder patients

Authors:
AYERS Catherine R., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 29(7), 2014, pp.741-746.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objective: Late-life hoarding is a serious psychiatric condition with significant implications in health and functioning. Geriatric hoarding patients show greater impairment in activities of daily living and have a greater number of medical conditions compared with same-aged nonhoarders. This study examined the relationship between geriatric hoarding severity and functional disability severity. Methods: Sixty-five subjects age 60 or older with hoarding disorder (HD) participated in the current study. Participants were assessed with measures of hoarding severity, psychiatric symptoms, and general disability. Hierarchical regression was used to test the unique association of hoarding symptoms with functional disability beyond the effects of demographic factors, anxiety, and depression. Results: When controlling for demographics (age and gender) and psychiatric symptoms (anxiety and depression), hoarding severity predicts functional disability severity. Analyses also show that clinician-administered measures of hoarding are stronger predictors of disability than patient self-report measures. Conclusions: When treating older adults with HD, clinicians must consider symptom impact on daily life. A multidisciplinary team must be utilized to address the wide-ranging consequences of hoarding symptoms. Future work should examine how psychiatric treatment of HD affects functional disability (Publisher abstract)

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Food shopping in later life: barriers and service solutions

Author:
AGE UK
Publisher:
Age UK
Publication year:
2012
Pagination:
18p.
Place of publication:
London

Being able to shop for food is important for older people to stay well and independent. However, 19% of people aged 65 and over report that they have a longstanding illness that prevents them from shopping or makes it difficult for them. This report looks at some of the barriers to food shopping facing older people, and at some of the shopping services run by local Age UKs to help older people surmount these barriers. It also looks at the part that retailers can play. Focus groups with older people revealed that older people may have difficulties getting to food shops, and, once in-store, may have difficulties with the store layout and with getting help from staff. Age-unfriendly packaging and large portion sizes were also a problem. The report recommends that retailers can attract and retain older customers by using the following measures: making stores fully accessible; helping older people to buy online; using retailers’ buying power to meet older people’s needs; and working with their local Age UK. Six examples of shopping services provided by Age UK which fall into 3 broad categories are described: escorted services; home delivery services; and internet shopping services.

Journal article

Voluntary and involuntary driving cessation in later life

Authors:
CHOI Moon, MEZUK Briana, REBOK George W.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 55(4), May 2012, pp.367-376.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

There is limited quantitative information about the differences between voluntary and involuntary driving cessation or the factors associated with these transitions. This study explored the decision-making process of driving cessation in later life, with a focus on voluntary decisions. The sample included 83 former drivers from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study (mean age 75.3 years and 73.5% females). A majority of participants (83%) reported stopping driving of their own volition. However, many voluntary driving retirees reported external factors such as financial difficulty, anxiety about driving, or lack of access to a car as main reasons for driving cessation. The authors conclude that the distinction between voluntary and involuntary driving cessation is in practice ambiguous and that factors beyond health status, including financial strain, play a role in the transition to non-driving.

Journal article

To feel safe in everyday life at home: a study of older adults after home modifications

Authors:
PETERSSON Ingela, LILJA Margareta, BORELL Lena
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 32(5), July 2012, pp.791-811.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This qualitative study investigated contributory factors of safety in everyday life for eight older adults who received modification services. Three main categories emerged from interviews: prerequisites that enable a feeling of safety; strategies that enable safety in everyday life; and use of and reliance on technology impacts on safety. The results suggested that to feel safe in everyday life was based on three prerequisites: feeling healthy; having someone to rely on; and feeling at home. These prerequisites further impacted on the participants' strategies for handling problems in everyday life but also on the ability to use and benefit from technology such as home modifications. Interventions increase safety for older adults should primarily be focused on the presence and fulfilment of prerequisites and later on other interventions such as technology. Technology such as home modifications and assistive devices was not found in this study to facilitate the feeling of safety unless supported by the fulfilled prerequisites.

Journal article

Older people's experiences of their kitchens: 2000 to 2010

Authors:
SIMS R.E., et al
Journal article citation:
Housing Care and Support, 15(1), 2012, pp.6-15.
Publisher:
Emerald

As people age their abilities and needs can change and their kitchen may no longer be as accessible or appropriate to their needs. This study examined older people’s experiences of their current kitchens by comparing data sets from 2000 and 2010. The study in 2010 investigated the life-long and contemporary experiences of kitchens of 48 people aged over 60 years of age. A previous study, conducted in 2000, asked many of the same questions of 22 people in the same age group. Findings revealed that that only limited progress had been made in terms of kitchen design meeting the needs of older people. The authors concluded that the continued personal use of a kitchen is important for continuing independence of older people, however, little improvements had been made in the preceding decade.

Journal article

Self-rated health as a moderator of the relation between functional impairment and depressive symptoms in older adults

Authors:
JAHN Danielle R., CUKROWICZ Kelly C.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 16(3), April 2012, pp.281-287.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

A variety of risk factors have been linked to depression.  The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between functional impairment, self-rated health, and depressive symptoms. Previous research has indicated that self-rated health and functional impairment each contribute to depressive symptoms. This study sought to determine if self-rated health moderates the relation between functional impairment and depressive symptoms in a sample of older adults. A community sample of 106 adults aged 60 and above was recruited from primary care clinics; 98 of these participants had usable data. The participants completed self-report questionnaires that assessed depressive symptoms, functional impairment, and self-rated physical health. The finding showed that self-rated health moderated the relation between functional impairment and depressive symptoms. For participants with poor self-rated health, greater functional impairment was associated with greater depressive symptoms. The paper concludes that patient perceptions of health may be protective against depressive symptoms for those with functional impairment.

Journal article

Being physically active in old age: relationships with being active earlier in life, social status and agents of socialisation

Authors:
MARTINEZ Jesus, et al
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 30(7), October 2010, pp.1097-1113.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

This study investigates the social processes that influence older people's participation in physical activity. A questionnaire with items on personal, social and environmental characteristics was completed by a random sample of older adults in the Madrid Autonomous Region. Significant relationships were found between the type of physical activity participation and being physically active at earlier life stages. Other relationships were found including socio-economic status, the encouragement of others or social support in being active, and the knowledge and availability of local facilities. Some cases were observed of re-socialisation into physical activity among those who had been inactive earlier in life, and both appropriate environmental and supportive social conditions appeared instrumental. The authors concluded that the study could inform the design of future social programmes to promote active lifestyles in later life. However, given the complexity of the socialisation processes, it would be advisable for future studies to examine other than the four factors featured in this paper, such as the role of cultural differences.

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