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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263791, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700510

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the association between dog and cat ownership, the onset of disability and all-cause mortality in an older population. Dog and cat owners take more regular exercise and have closer social relationships than non-owners. We further assess the beneficial effects of these moderating variables on the onset of disability and mortality. METHODS: Dog and cat ownership data were collected from 11233 community-dwelling adults age 65 years and older. These data were matched with data about the onset of disability held by the Japanese long-term care insurance system. Local registry data were used to ascertain all-cause mortality. RESULTS: During the approximately 3.5 year follow-up period, 17.1% of the sample suffered onset of disability, and 5.2% died. Logistic regression analysis indicated that, compared with a reference group of those who had never owned a dog (odds ratio fixed at 1.0), older adults who were currently dog owners had a significantly lower odds ratio of onset of disability (OR = 0.54 95% CI: 0.37-0.79). Our results further show that regular exercise interacts with dog ownership to reduce the risk of disability. The association of dog and/or cat ownership with all-cause mortality was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Dog ownership appears to protect against incident disability among older Japanese adults. Additional benefits are gained from ownership combined with regular exercise. Daily dog care may have an important role to play in health promotion and successful aging.


Subject(s)
Aging/psychology , Independent Living/statistics & numerical data , Ownership/statistics & numerical data , Pets , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/pathology , Animals , Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data , Dogs , Female , Humans , Japan , Male
2.
3.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 76(9): 1697-1699, 2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541525
4.
Maturitas ; 154: 31-45, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415643

ABSTRACT

Health problems of women experiencing homelessness are driven either from the usual background characteristics of this population, or from the homeless lifestyle. Apart from poverty and unemployment, transition to homelessness is often associated with substance abuse, history of victimization, stress, poor mental health and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Water insecurity can undermine bodily hygiene and dental health, posing a greater risk of dehydration and opportunistic infections. Exposure to extreme environmental conditions like heat waves and natural disasters increases morbidity, accelerates aging, and reduces life expectancy. Nutrition-wise, a high prevalence of food insecurity, obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies are apparent due to low diet quality and food waste. Poor hygiene, violence, and overcrowding increase the susceptibility of these women to communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted ones and COVID-19. Furthermore, established cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus are often either undertreated or neglected, and their complications are more widespread than in the general population. In addition, lack of medical screening and contraception non-use induce a variety of reproductive health issues. All these health conditions are tightly related to violations of human rights in this population, including the rights to housing, water, food, reproduction, health, work, and no discrimination. Thus, the care provided to women experiencing homelessness should be optimized at a multidimensional level, spanning beyond the provision of a warm bed, to include access to clean water and sanitation, psychological support and stress-coping strategies, disease management and acute health care, food of adequate quality, opportunities for employment and support for any minor dependants.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19 , Food Insecurity , Health Status , Homeless Persons/psychology , Human Rights , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , Female , Food , Humans , Reproductive Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Water Supply
5.
Psychol Aging ; 36(6): 694-699, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404879

ABSTRACT

The initial phase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic changed our lives dramatically, with stay-at-home orders and extreme physical distancing requirements. The present study suggests that how adults remember these disruptions depends, in part, on their age. In two surveys collected from American and Canadian participants during Summer 2020 (n = 551) and Fall 2020 (n = 506), older age (across ages 18-90 years) was associated with greater reflections on positive aspects of the initial phase of the pandemic. While the pandemic is a shared experience, the way it is remembered may differ across generations, with older age leading to a greater focus on the positive aspects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19 , Mental Recall , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
J Aging Soc Policy ; 33(4-5): 380-397, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347989

ABSTRACT

Increasing research is investigating the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on older adults, but relatively little is known about the complexities of community-dwelling older adults' lived experiences during this historical period. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature by taking a bottom-up, theory-generating, inductive approach. Older adults living in Central Texas (N = 200; age, 65-92 years, M = 73.6 ± 6.33) responded to a telephone interview during June-August 2020. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. We identified three key themes: positive, mixed, and negative experiences, with a total of 11 subthemes. A thematic map was developed, illustrating potential connections to mental health. These findings reveal the complexities of older adults' lived experiences during COVID-19 and have implications for developing aging-related policies and community-based interventions during future public health crises. Recognizing the complexities of older adults' lived experiences, tailored policies and interventions can be developed to effectively leverage older adults' effective coping and resilience while at the same time helping overcome negative effects among specific subgroups.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Aging/psychology , COVID-19 , Independent Living/psychology , Resilience, Psychological , Technology/instrumentation , Aged , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Texas
9.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 77(4): e57-e63, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328918

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Previous literature suggests age-related increases in prosociality. Does such an age-prosociality relationship occur during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, or might the pandemic-as a stressor that may differently influence young and older adults-create a boundary condition on the relationship? If so, can empathy, a well-known prosocial disposition, explain the age-prosociality relationship? This study investigated these questions and whether the target (distant others compared to close others) of prosocial behaviors differs by age. METHODS: Participants completed a series of surveys on dispositional empathy and prosocial behaviors for a study assessing their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 330 participants (aged 18-89) from the United States who completed all of the surveys included in the present analyses. RESULTS: Age was positively related to greater prosociality during the pandemic. Although empathy was positively associated with individuals' prosociality, it did not account for the age-prosociality association. Interestingly, increasing age was associated with greater prosocial behaviors toward close others (i.e., family, friends). DISCUSSION: Results are discussed in the context of socioemotional goals and substantiate that findings of age differences in prosocial behaviors occur during the period of limited resources and threat associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/psychology , Altruism , COVID-19/epidemiology , Empathy , Humans , Pandemics , Social Behavior
12.
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord ; 50(1): 85-95, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268156

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: It is well-known that cognitive function declines with age. In order to detect changes in cognitive function, cognitive tests should be performed repeatedly. Currently existing cognitive tests come in only a single version, so the subject is likely to remember the contents with repeated testing. And, under the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in-person assessment should be avoided. This study was performed to develop a new cognitive test (brain assessment, BA) that has 5 versions and can be performed on a personal computer (PC) through the Internet. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five thousand subjects performed the online BA, which consisted of 5 subtests: number memory, word memory, mental rotation test, N-back test, and judgment test. We standardized the raw scores (cognitive scores, CSs) using mean and standard deviation, which were 50 and 10, respectively. Then, we calculated the mean CS for each sex and age, plotted the relationships between ages and mean CSs on figures, and calculated the formula of cognitive changes during normal aging. RESULTS: The CSs of all subtests decreased with aging. The regression coefficient was from -0.31 to -0.45. It is noteworthy that in most subtests, the CSs started to increase at 85 years of age. DISCUSSION: Our BA has 5 versions and can be done on a PC using the Internet. We tested the BA in a large number of subjects, and the standard values of CSs were measured in individuals up to 89 years of age. By performing this test repeatedly, subjects can evaluate the degree of their cognitive decline. If the rate of cognitive decline is greater than that predicted using the normalized formula, the subjects can undertake strategies to improve their control of lifestyle-related diseases or other habits of daily living. CONCLUSION: The BA can be easily taken online using a PC, and its scores linearly declined with normal aging. The BA will be useful for detecting longitudinal cognitive changes and comparing them to the pattern seen in normal aging.


Subject(s)
Aging/psychology , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis , Neuropsychological Tests , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cognitive Dysfunction/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged
13.
Asia Pac Psychiatry ; 13(3): e12473, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268103

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suicide among older adults is a multifactorial problem with several interrelated factors involved that vary with age, gender and culture. The number of suicides is highest in those aged 70 years or older in almost all regions of the world. With the increase in life expectancy, and the decrease in mortality due to other causes of death, we could expect the absolute number of older adults' suicide continue increasing. METHODS: Review of the literature on suicide protective factors of suicide among older adults. RESULTS: Improvements on social determinants of health and the timely detection and early treatment of affective disorders are key interventions. Prevention based on community actions and training of gatekeepers may have positive impact. Community programs that promote a sense of usefulness, belonging and that contribute to preserve social integration should be encouraged. Governments should develop the improvement of retirement programs and the development of support systems. The access to general health and mental health services should be facilitated and Primary Care professionals should receive proper training to detect and manage older persons at risk. Actively promoting a culture of coping to different stages of life and to the changes imposed by the advancing of age should form the essential part of a process bringing to better successful aging avenues. CONCLUSIONS: Suicide prevention in older adults should broaden its focus and pay attention to the many socio-environmental conditions that may be relevant in older age, especially social isolation, financial security and physical health.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19/psychology , Preventive Health Services , Aged , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , Health Status Disparities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Social Isolation/psychology , Suicide/prevention & control , Suicide/psychology , Suicide/statistics & numerical data
14.
Can J Aging ; 39(3): 333-343, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261985

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent state of public emergency have significantly affected older adults in Canada and worldwide. It is imperative that the gerontological response be efficient and effective. In this statement, the board members of the Canadian Association on Gerontology/L'Association canadienne de gérontologie (CAG/ACG) and the Canadian Journal on Aging/La revue canadienne du vieillissement (CJA/RCV) acknowledge the contributions of CAG/ACG members and CJA/RCV readers. We also profile the complex ways that COVID-19 is affecting older adults, from individual to population levels, and advocate for the adoption of multidisciplinary collaborative teams to bring together different perspectives, areas of expertise, and methods of evaluation in the COVID-19 response.


Subject(s)
Aging , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections , Health Services for the Aged/organization & administration , Pandemics , Patient Care Management , Patient Care Team , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Canada/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , Mental Health , Patient Care Management/methods , Patient Care Management/standards , Patient Care Management/trends , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Patient Care Team/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 76(9): 1904-1912, 2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258772

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Media sources have consistently described older adults as a medically vulnerable population during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, yet a lack of concern over their health and safety has resulted in dismissal and devaluation. This unprecedented situation highlights ongoing societal ageism and its manifestations in public discourse. This analysis asks how national news sources performed explicit and implicit ageism during the first month of the pandemic. METHOD: Using content and critical discourse analysis methods, we analyzed 287 articles concerning older adults and COVID-19 published between March 11 and April 10, 2020, in 4 major U.S.-based newspapers. RESULTS: Findings indicate that while ageism was rarely discussed explicitly, ageist bias was evident in implicit reporting patterns (e.g., frequent use of the term "elderly," portrayals of older adults as "vulnerable"). Infection and death rates and institutionalized care were among the most commonly reported topics, providing a limited portrait of aging during the pandemic. The older "survivor" narrative offers a positive alternative by suggesting exceptional examples of resilience and grit. However, the survivor narrative may also implicitly place blame on those unable to survive or thrive in later life. DISCUSSION: This study provides insight for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners exploring societal perceptions of older adults and how these perceptions are disseminated and maintained by the media.


Subject(s)
Ageism , Aging , COVID-19 , Information Dissemination/ethics , Social Media , Social Perception , Aged , Ageism/ethics , Ageism/legislation & jurisprudence , Ageism/prevention & control , Ageism/psychology , Aging/ethics , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Data Mining/ethics , Data Mining/statistics & numerical data , Geriatrics/trends , Humans , Newspapers as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Environment , Social Media/ethics , Social Media/trends , Social Perception/ethics , Social Perception/psychology , United States , Vulnerable Populations/psychology
17.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 76(2): e38-e44, 2021 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254669

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Older adults are at higher risk for death and infirmity from COVID-19 than younger and middle-aged adults. The current study examines COVID-19-specific anxiety and proactive coping as potential risk and resilience factors that may be differentially important for younger and older adults in understanding stress experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Five hundred and fifteen adults aged 20-79 years in the United States reported on their anxiety about developing COVID-19, proactive coping, and stress related to COVID-19 in an online survey. RESULTS: Although there were no age differences in stress levels, anxiety about developing COVID-19 was associated with more COVID-19 stress for older adults relative to younger adults, but proactive coping was associated with less COVID-19 stress for older adults relative to younger adults. DISCUSSION: Our results suggest that anxiety might function as a risk factor, whereas proactive coping may function as a resilience factor for older adults' COVID-19 stress. We encourage future context-dependent investigations into mental health among older adults during this pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Aging/psychology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19 , Resilience, Psychological , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Protective Factors , Risk Factors , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
18.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(7): 1713-1721, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218150

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Emergency department (ED) visits have declined while excess mortality, not attributable to COVID-19, has grown. It is not known whether older adults are accessing emergency care differently from their younger counterparts. Our objective was to determine patterns of ED visit counts for emergent conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic for older adults. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study. SETTING: Observational analysis of ED sites enrolled in a national clinical quality registry. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and sixty-four ED sites in 33 states from January 1, 2019 to November 15, 2020. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: We measured daily ED visit counts for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, sepsis, fall, and hip fracture, as well as deaths in the ED, by age categories. We estimated Poisson regression models comparing early and post-early pandemic periods (defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to the pre-pandemic period. We report incident rate ratios to summarize changes in visit incidence. RESULTS: For AMI, stroke, and sepsis, the older (75-84) and oldest old (85+ years) had the greatest decline in visit counts initially and the smallest recovery in the post-early pandemic periods. For falls, visits declined early and partially recovered uniformly across age categories. In contrast, hip fractures exhibited less change in visit rates across time periods. Deaths in the ED increased during the early pandemic period, but then fell and were persistently lower than baseline, especially for the older (75-84) and oldest old (85+ years). CONCLUSIONS: The decline in ED visits for emergent conditions among older adults has been more pronounced and persistent than for younger patients, with fewer deaths in the ED. This is concerning given the greater prevalence and risk of poor outcomes for emergent conditions in this age group that are amenable to time-sensitive ED diagnosis and treatment, and may in part explain excess mortality during the COVID-19 era among older adults.


Subject(s)
Accidental Falls/statistics & numerical data , Aging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Myocardial Infarction , Sepsis , Stroke , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergencies/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mortality , Myocardial Infarction/diagnosis , Myocardial Infarction/mortality , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/diagnosis , Sepsis/mortality , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/mortality , United States/epidemiology
19.
J Gerontol Soc Work ; 64(5): 547-556, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201351

ABSTRACT

This commentary addresses barriers to care among older adults living with neurodiversity (ND), and their aging family carers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Factors contributing to inequities are described and the significant negative consequences of current policy decisions on the social and mental health of older adults with ND and their aging family carers are highlighted. The commentary calls for a collective social work response that highlights the critical role of support and advocacy necessary to redress social exclusion.


Subject(s)
Aging/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Disabled Persons/rehabilitation , Caregivers/standards , Disabled Persons/psychology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Social Work/methods
20.
Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol ; 55(5): 272-278, 2020.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196758

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To analyze differences by age group in anxiety, depression, loneliness and comorbid anxiety and depression in young people, middle aged adults and older adults during the lock-down period at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore the association between negative self-perceptions of aging and psychological symptoms controlling by age group. METHOD: Participants are 1501 people (age range 18 to 88 years). Anxiety, sadness, loneliness and self-perceptions of aging were assessed. The sample was divided according to the age group and quartiles (lower, intermediate levels, and higher) of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and self-perceptions of aging. RESULTS: Older adults reported lower levels of anxiety and sadness than middle aged adults, and middle aged adults reported lower levels than younger participants. Middle aged adults reported the lowest loneliness, followed by older adults and younger participants. For each age group, those with more negative self-perceptions of aging reported higher anxiety, sadness and loneliness. More comorbid anxiety and sadness was found in younger adults and less in older adults; more depressed participants in the middle aged group, and more older adults and less younger participants were found in the group with the lowest levels of anxiety and sadness. For all the age groups, participants with high levels of comorbid anxiety and sadness are those who report the highest scores in negative self-perceptions of aging. CONCLUSIONS: Older adults reported lower psychological anxiety, sadness and loneliness than the other age groups. Having negative self-perceptions of aging damage psychological health irrespective of the chronological age.


Subject(s)
Aging/psychology , Anxiety/complications , Anxiety/psychology , Coronavirus Infections , Depression/complications , Depression/psychology , Loneliness/psychology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quarantine/psychology , Sadness/psychology , Self Concept , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Young Adult
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