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1.
Innov Aging ; 6(Suppl 1):525, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed Central | ID: covidwho-2188985

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Designing community space for social participation of older adults is essential for healthy aging. The behavioral characteristics of the attendees have much to offer as they relate to social settings designed in the space. This study aims to elucidate the basic typology of the attendees considering their motivation for attendance and state of social connection. Methods: Semi-structured interviews targeting attendees of Chiiki-Katsudokan, a space designed for social participation in a larger aging estate in Japan, were conducted in December 2021 (N=16, 16% male). Attendees were asked about their reasons for attending events at Chiiki-Katsudokan, interaction levels with other attendees, and levels of social participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Based on the interviews, attendees were classified into three types: Seeker, Hobbyist, and Socializer. First, Seekers (n=3) used Chiiki-Katsudokan as the primary means of preventing social isolation. Amongst the three types, the social interaction level of Seekers was the lightest, and the opportunity decreased when Chiiki-Katsudokan closed during the quarantine. Second, the main motivation for Hobbyists (n=5) was the event contents which matched their interests. Hobbyists were also likely to engage in hobby networks, which continued privately during the pandemic. Finally, Socializers (n=8) attended Chiiki-Katsudokan to communicate with friends. Many were initially socially active and engaged in social interaction outside Chiiki-Katsudokan, e.g., teatime with friends, during the quarantine. Conclusion: This study suggested that designing community space for social participation requires defining the varying levels of engagement and expecting relationships outside the space based on the behavioral characteristics of the attendees.

2.
Innov Aging ; 6(Suppl 1):524-5, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed Central | ID: covidwho-2188984

ABSTRACT

Introduction: A regional community space in Japan, Chiiki-Katsudokan, was founded to facilitate the social interactions of older adults through activities. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic occasionally forced this space to close or limited the volume of its participants. In this research, the operation of the space was reviewed by monitoring the changes in the social interactions of the attendees, and by investigating the anticipated function from the attendees' needs. Method: A semi-structured interview targeting the attendees of Chiiki-Katsudokan was conducted in December 2021 (N=19, main age:80s). The level of social interaction before and during the pandemic and the newly anticipated function of the space were examined. Results: First, deep and light interactions were observed. Those with deep interactions initially had wide social connections and used Chiiki-Katsudokan to interact with friends. Meanwhile, those with light interactions only talked to other attendees while attending the space. During the quarantine, those with deep interactions stayed connected with others and met privately, while those with light interactions faced a higher risk of social isolation. Second, the most popular newly anticipated functions of the space were "Place to gather with friends (n=14)" and "Interaction with younger generation (n=14)." "Opportunity to learn about the new pandemic-lifestyle (n=11)" was also rated high, while need for "online events" was rated the lowest (n=7). Conclusion: The pandemic re-emphasized older adults' need for direct interaction. Low interest in technology-based countermeasures suggested that community spaces should expand their operation method while considering offline methods (e.g., pen-pal system) that could enhance social interaction.

3.
Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine ; 257(1):65-71, 2022.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-2045739

ABSTRACT

Disruption of cancer screening programs and diagnoses of gastrointestinal cancers by the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported;however, little attention has been paid to the situation in depopulated areas with low infection rates. Akita Prefecture is one of the most depopulated areas of Japan and has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate per capita;at the same time, the prefecture has been top-ranked for mortality due to gastrointestinal cancer for years. In this population-based study in Akita Prefecture, we investigated the occurrence of gastrointestinal cancers and the number of cancer screening procedures over the five-year period of 2016-2020, employing a database from the collaborative Akita Prefecture hospital-based registration system of cancers. The occurrence of gastrointestinal cancers, especially esophago-gastric cancers, declined by 11.0% in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic affected the overall healthcare system, compared with the average of 2016-2019. Nonetheless, the occurrence of advanced-stage (stage IV) esophago-gastric cancers increased by 7.2% in 2020. The decrease in the gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis rate in 2020 coincided with a 30% decline in the total number of regular population-based screening programs. Under the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cancer screening was uniformly suspended throughout Japan. Accordingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has substantially disrupted the cancer screening system, leading to delays in diagnoses of gastrointestinal cancer, even in depopulated areas (Akita Prefecture) of Japan with a low prevalence of infection. Suspension of cancer screening procedures during an infectious disease pandemic should be thoroughly considered for each region based on the cancer incidence and infection status in that area.

4.
J Frailty Aging ; 12(1): 86-90, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1998054

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prolonged self-restraining behaviors induced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic's containment measures can limit various positive health behaviors. OBJECTIVE: We examined the decline in going-out and certain other positive health behaviors and investigated the relationship between excessive decreases in going-out frequency and declining engagement in positive health behaviors among community-dwelling older adults during the self-restraint period. DESIGN: This study employed a cross-sectional survey design. SETTING: This study was conducted in Nishi Tokyo City, Tokyo, Japan. PARTICIPANTS: The participants were 294 respondents (150 women) aged 50 years and older who lived in public housing that were permitted to be surveyed during the self-restraint period. MEASUREMENTS: Their pre-pandemic going-out frequency around February 2020 and going-out frequency during the self-restraint period starting in April 2020 were reported. We mainly assessed the existence of home health behaviors (i.e., exercise, in-person and phone conversations, and healthy diet). A self-report questionnaire was used to obtain data. RESULTS: Going-out frequency decreased in 41.2% of the 294 respondents owing to the government's request for self-restraint. In total, 13 individuals had been going out less than one time per week (housebound) before the request. Of the 281 people who were not housebound before the government's self-restraint request, 13.9% were newly housebound. Newly housebound individuals were 5.3 times less likely to exercise, had 2.1 times fewer social contacts, and 2.6 times less balanced or healthy diets than those who maintained their frequency of going out. CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged self-restraint due to the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to housebound status and poor health behaviors. Public health intervention is needed to prevent excessive self-restraint, along with new measures integrating information and communication technologies to enable older adults to live active lives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Behavior , Independent Living , Pandemics , Japan
5.
J Frailty Aging ; 11(2): 231-235, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811431

ABSTRACT

Social detachment due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused a decline in physical activity, leading to sarcopenia and frailty in older adults. This study aimed to compare muscle mass, strength, and function values in older women before and after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April-May 2020). Furthermore, changes in muscle measures across women who experienced different levels of impact on their social participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic were examined. Muscle mass (total, trunk, and appendicular muscle), grip strength, oral motor skills, social interactions (social network and participation), and social support were assessed in 46 Japanese community-dwelling older women (mean, 77.5 y; range 66-93 y) before and after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trunk muscle mass significantly decreased after the first wave of the pandemic. When comparing changed values between the enhanced/maintained and reduced group during the pandemic, significant group difference was observed in trunk muscular mass, grip strength, and oral motor skills. Intriguingly, those who enhanced social participation had a positive change of grip strength values, showing that social participation might influence muscle function during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sarcopenia , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Hand Strength/physiology , Humans , Independent Living , Japan/epidemiology , Muscle Strength , Muscle, Skeletal/pathology , Pandemics , Sarcopenia/diagnosis , Sarcopenia/epidemiology
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