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1.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr ; 101: 104706, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797165

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The number of socially isolated older adults has increased owing to the coronavirus disease pandemic, thus leading to a decrease in cognitive functions among this group. Smartphone use is expected to be a reasonable preventive measure against cognitive decline in this social context. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the influence of social isolation and smartphone use on cognitive functions in community-dwelling older adults. METHODS: We divided 4,601 community-dwelling older adults into four groups based on their levels of social isolation and smartphone use. Then, we conducted cognitive functions tests including a word list memory task, trail-making test, and symbol digit substitution task. Social isolation was defined when participants met two or more of the following measures: domestic isolation, less social contact, and social disengagement. We used an analysis of covariance adjusted by background information to measure between-group differences in levels of cognitive functions and social isolation. A linear regression model was used to analyze the association of standardized scores of cognitive function tests with smartphone use. RESULTS: Smartphone users' scores of the symbol digit substitution task were superior compared with both non-users with social isolation and without. All cognitive functions were associated with smartphone use among non-socially and socially isolated participants. Socially isolated older adults showed an association only between trail making test- part A and smartphone use. CONCLUSIONS: Smartphone use was associated with cognitive functions (memory, attentional function, executive function, and processing speed) even in socially isolated community-dwelling older adults.


Subject(s)
Cognitive Dysfunction , Smartphone , Aged , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Social Isolation
2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263039, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793535

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Distrust, and more broadly, public perception of government's handling of a crisis, has been a widely studied topic within health crisis research and suggests that these perceptions are significantly associated with the behavior of its citizens. PURPOSE: To understand which aspects of the public's perception of government handling of the COVID-19 pandemic predicted engagement of protective behaviors among older adults, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. METHODS: Participants were recruited from an ongoing biopsychosocial study on aging amongst community-dwelling older adults. There were two rounds of data collection, during the national lockdown and post-lockdown. The average length of follow-up was 5.88 months. N = 421 completed the first round of data collection and N = 318 subsequently completed the second round of questionnaires. RESULTS: During the lockdown, perceptions that pandemic-related measures in place were sufficient, effective, timely, provided a sense of safety, important information was easily accessible, and government handling of the pandemic could be trusted, were found to significantly predict engagement in protective behaviors. During post-lockdown, only perceptions that measures in place were sufficient, provided a sense of safety, and important information was easily accessible, remained significant predictors. The perception that COVID-19 measures were clear and easy to understand now became a significant predictor. CONCLUSIONS: Public perceptions of government handling of the pandemic predicted engagement in protective behaviors but were less important during post-lockdown. To effectively engage older adults in protective behavior, our findings suggest for pandemic-related information to be accessible, introducing timely safety measures, and having easy-to-understand instructions for nuanced measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare/methods , Trust/psychology , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Government , Government Programs/trends , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Nutrients ; 13(2)2021 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575182

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to investigate the impact of food insecurity and poor nutrient intake on the psychological health of middle-aged and older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sub-sample of 535 individuals aged 52 years and above, from the earlier cohort and interventional studies (n = 4) from four selected states in Peninsular Malaysia, were recruited during the COVID-19 outbreak (April to June 2020). Telephone interviews were conducted by trained interviewers with a health sciences background to obtain participants' information on health status, physical activity, food security, and psychological health (General Health Questionnaire-12; normal and psychological distress). Univariate analyses were performed for each variable, followed by a logistic regression analysis using SPSS Statistics version 25.0. Results revealed food insecurity (OR = 17.06, 95% CI: 8.24-35.32, p < 0.001), low protein (OR = 0.981, 95% CI: 0.965-0.998, p < 0.05), and fiber intakes (OR = 0.822, 95% CI: 0.695-0.972, p < 0.05) were found to be significant factors associated with the psychological distress group after adjusting for confounding factors. The findings suggested that food insecurity and insufficiencies of protein and fiber intakes heightened the psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Optimal nutrition is vital to ensure the physical and psychological health of the older population, specifically during the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Nutritional Status , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Food Insecurity/economics , Humans , Independent Living/economics , Independent Living/psychology , Independent Living/statistics & numerical data , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Health Questionnaire/statistics & numerical data , Stress, Psychological/diagnosis , Stress, Psychological/economics , Stress, Psychological/psychology
4.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0248446, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571977

ABSTRACT

We examined the changes in cognitive function due to restrictions in daily life during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive decline. This was a retrospective, case-control study. The participants include 88 older adults with mild cognitive decline (mean age = 81.0 [standard deviation = 6.5] years) who participated in a class designed to help prevent cognitive decline. This class was suspended from early-March to end of May 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and resumed in June 2020. We collected demographic and cognitive function test data (Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale [TDAS]) before and after class suspension and questionnaire data on their lifestyle and thoughts during the suspension. Change in TDAS scores from before and after the suspension was used to divide the participants into decline (2 or more points worsening) and non-decline (all other participants) groups, with 16 (18.2%) and 72 (81.8%) participants in each group, respectively. A logistic regression model showed that the odds ratio (OR) for cognitive decline was lower in participants whose responses were "engaged in hobbies" (OR = 0.07, p = 0.015), "worked on a worksheet about cognitive training provided by the town hall" (OR = 0.19, p = 0.026), and "had conversations over the phone" (OR = 0.28, p = 0.0495). There was a significant improvement in TDAS scores after class was resumed (p < 0.01). A proactive approach to intellectual activities and social ties may be important for the prevention of cognitive decline during periods of restrictions due to COVID-19. We found that cognitive function test scores before class suspension significantly improved after resuming classes. We speculate that continued participation in this class led to positive behavioral changes in daily life during periods of restriction due to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Cognitive Dysfunction/prevention & control , Independent Living/psychology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Cognitive Dysfunction/virology , Humans , Japan , Life Style , Logistic Models , Neuropsychological Tests , Retrospective Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
J Frailty Aging ; 11(2): 206-213, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498010

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite emerging evidence about the association between social frailty and cognitive impairment, little is known about the role of executive function in this interplay, and whether the co-existence of social frailty and cognitive impairment predisposes to adverse health outcomes in healthy community-dwelling older adults. OBJECTIVES: We aim to examine independent associations between social frailty with the MMSE and FAB, and to determine if having both social frailty and cognitive impairment is associated with worse health outcomes than either or neither condition. METHODS: We studied 229 cognitively intact and functionally independent community-dwelling older adults (mean age= 67.2±7.43). Outcome measures comprise physical activity; physical performance and frailty; geriatric syndromes; life space and quality of life. We compared Chinese Mini Mental State Examination (CMMSE) and Chinese Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) scores across the socially non-frail, socially pre-frail and socially frail. Participants were further recategorized into three subgroups (neither, either or both) based on presence of social frailty and cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment was defined as a score below the educational adjusted cut-offs in either CMMSE or FAB. We performed logistic regression adjusted for significant covariates and mood to examine association with outcomes across the three subgroups. RESULTS: Compared with CMMSE, Chinese FAB scores significantly decreased across the social frailty spectrum (p<0.001), suggesting strong association between executive function with social frailty. We derived three subgroups relative to relationship with socially frailty and executive dysfunction: (i) Neither, N=140(61.1%), (ii) Either, N=79(34.5%), and (iii) Both, N=10(4.4%). Compared with neither or either subgroups, having both social frailty and executive dysfunction was associated with anorexia (OR=4.79, 95% CI= 1.04-22.02), near falls and falls (OR= 5.23, 95% CI= 1.10-24.90), lower life-space mobility (odds ratio, OR=9.80, 95% CI=2.07-46.31) and poorer quality of life (OR= 13.2, 95% CI= 2.38-73.4). CONCLUSION: Our results explicated the association of executive dysfunction with social frailty, and their synergistic relationship independent of mood with geriatric syndromes, decreased life space and poorer quality of life. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the association between social frailty and executive dysfunction merits further study as a possible target for early intervention in relatively healthy older adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Frailty , Aged , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Executive Function , Frail Elderly/psychology , Frailty/diagnosis , Frailty/epidemiology , Frailty/psychology , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Pandemics , Quality of Life/psychology , Syndrome
6.
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
7.
J Appl Gerontol ; 40(9): 934-942, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243768

ABSTRACT

Social distancing, a critical measure to manage COVID-19 transmission, is consistently associated with social isolation, a major health issue. Social isolation negatively impacts mental and physical health, particularly among older adults. A pre-post comparison study examined changes in cognitive function and perceived health among 36 community-dwelling Brazilian older adults, assessed pre and post social distancing measures enacted due to COVID-19. A significant increase in cognitive function was found 1 month into social distancing (M = 16.3, p = .002, power = 0.88), with declining scores for vitality (M = -29.3, p < .001, power = 0.99) and mental health (M = -38.1, p < .001, power = 0.99), particularly among participants who lived alone (t = -3.8, p = .001). Older adults exhibit rapid changes in perceived health when excluded from participation in social activities. Health care professionals should consider holistic approaches when addressing the impacts of social isolation on this population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognition , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Diagnostic Self Evaluation , Independent Living , Social Isolation/psychology , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Independent Living/statistics & numerical data , Loneliness/psychology , Male , Mental Health , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
8.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251862, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social networks, i.e., our in-person and online social relations, are key to lifestyle behavior and health, via mechanisms of influence and support from our relations. We assessed associations between various social network aspects and practicing behavior to prevent respiratory infectious diseases. METHODS: We analyzed baseline-data (2019) from the SaNAE-cohort on social networks and health, collected by an online questionnaire in Dutch community-dwelling people aged 40-99 years. Outcome was the number of preventive behaviors in past two months [range 0-4]. Associations between network aspects were tested using ordinal regression analyses, adjusting for confounders. RESULTS: Of 5,128 participants (mean age 63; 54% male), 94% regularly washed hands with water and soap, 55% used only paper (not cloth) handkerchiefs/tissues; 19% touched their face as little as possible; 39% kept distance from people with respiratory infectious disease symptoms; median score of behaviors was 2. Mean network size was 11 (46% family; 27% friends); six network members were contacted exclusively in-person and two exclusively via phone/internet. Participants received informational, emotional, and practical support from four, six, and two network members, respectively. Independently associated with more preventive behaviors were: 'strong relationships', i.e., large share of friends and aspects related to so called 'weak relationships', a larger share of distant living network members, higher number of members with whom there was exclusively phone/internet contact, and more network members providing informational support. Club membership and a larger share of same-aged network members were inversely associated. CONCLUSION: Friends ('strong' relationships) may play an important role in the adoption of infection-preventive behaviors. So may 'weak relationships', e.g. geographically more distant network members, who may provide informational support as via non-physical modes of contact. Further steps are to explore employment of these types of relationships when designing infectious diseases control programs aiming to promote infection-preventive behavior in middle aged-and older individuals.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/psychology , Health Behavior , Independent Living/psychology , Social Networking , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Family/psychology , Female , Friends/psychology , Humans , Interpersonal Relations , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Social Support , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(1): 20-29, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066712

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic may have unintended, detrimental effects on social isolation and loneliness among older adults. Our objectives were to investigate (1) experiences of social isolation and loneliness during shelter-in-place orders, and (2) unmet health needs related to changes in social interactions. DESIGN: Mixed-methods longitudinal phone-based survey administered every 2 weeks. SETTING: Two community sites and an academic geriatrics outpatient clinical practice. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 151 community-dwelling older adults. MEASUREMENTS: We measured social isolation using a six-item modified Duke Social Support Index, social interaction subscale, that included assessments of video-based and Internet-based socializing. Measures of loneliness included self-reported worsened loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and loneliness severity based on the three-item University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale. Participants were invited to share open-ended comments about their social experiences. RESULTS: Participants were on average aged 75 years (standard deviation = 10), 50% had hearing or vision impairment, 64% lived alone, and 26% had difficulty bathing. Participants reported social isolation in 40% of interviews, 76% reported minimal video-based socializing, and 42% minimal Internet-based socializing. Socially isolated participants reported difficulty finding help with functional needs including bathing (20% vs 55%; P = .04). More than half (54%) of the participants reported worsened loneliness due to COVID-19 that was associated with worsened depression (62% vs 9%; P < .001) and anxiety (57% vs 9%; P < .001). Rates of loneliness improved on average by time since shelter-in-place orders (4-6 weeks: 46% vs 13-15 weeks: 27%; P = .009), however, loneliness persisted or worsened for a subgroup of participants. Open-ended responses revealed challenges faced by the subgroup experiencing persistent loneliness including poor emotional coping and discomfort with new technologies. CONCLUSION: Many older adults are adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions since the start of shelter-in-place orders. Additional steps are critically needed to address the psychological suffering and unmet medical needs of those with persistent loneliness or barriers to technology-based social interaction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Independent Living/psychology , Loneliness/psychology , Quarantine/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Geriatric Assessment , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Physical Distancing , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco
12.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry ; 28(11): 1185-1194, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922025

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the experiences and needs of caregivers of persons with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in a city in India. DESIGN: Qualitative study using a telephonic semistructured interview. SETTING: A specialist geriatric outpatient mental health service based in a nongovernmental organization in Chennai, India. PARTICIPANTS: A purposive sampling of family members of persons with dementia registered in the database and seen within the previous 6 months. RESULTS: Thirty-one caregivers participated. Thematic analysis of the data showed two sets of issues that the caregivers of persons with dementia faced in their experiences during the pandemic. The first set was unique to the caregivers that directly related to their caregiving role, while the second set did not relate directly to their caregiving role. These two sets also appeared to have a two-way interaction influencing each other. These issues generated needs, some of which required immediate support while others required longer-term support. The caregivers suggested several methods, such as use of video-consultations, telephone-based support and clinic-based in-person visits to meet their needs. They also wanted more services postpandemic. CONCLUSION: Caregivers of persons with dementia had multiple needs during the pandemic. Supporting them during these times require a pragmatic multilayered approach. Systemic changes, policies and frameworks, increased awareness, use of technology, and better access to health are necessary.


Subject(s)
Caregivers/psychology , Coronavirus Infections , Dementia , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quality of Life , Telemedicine/methods , Videoconferencing , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Dementia/epidemiology , Dementia/therapy , Dementia/virology , Female , Home Care Services/trends , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , India/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Needs Assessment , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychosocial Support Systems , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Aging Soc Policy ; 33(4-5): 332-341, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-780195

ABSTRACT

Place-based identity and person-place fit are called into question during a pandemic, such as COVID-19, when older adults' relationship to place may be in flux. Both academic and gray literature detail drastic changes in the way many aspects of place will be affected by a pandemic. While the dominant discourse focuses on medical and health changes, this brief report uses the Person-Place Fit Measure for Older Adults (PPFM-OA) and its broader, five subscale place domains (Primary or Basic Needs/Necessities; Neighborhood Changes and Moving; Identity and Place Attachment; Community Value; and Services and Resources) as a way to assess the pandemic's impact on the daily lives of older adults from their own points of view.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Independent Living/psychology , Residence Characteristics , Safety , Aged , Humans , Resource Allocation
15.
J Clin Nurs ; 29(21-22): 4387-4402, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744772

ABSTRACT

AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To explore older people's initial experience of household isolation, social distancing and shielding, and the plans they constructed to support them through the COVID-19 pandemic. BACKGROUND: Public health guidance for those aged 70 or older was predominantly to undertake stringent social distancing within their household. Little is known about older people's experience of these measures. This paper explores changes experienced by those over the age of 70 during the first two weeks of household isolation, social distancing and shielding in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and their early perceptions and plans to support them through the pandemic. METHODS: An inductive phenomenological study. University staff posted the study invitation flyer on social media, such as WhatsApp neighbourhood groups, the Nextdoor App and Twitter. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 19 participants and repeated at 2-week intervals for 10 weeks; further data collection is still in progress. This paper presents the findings from the baseline interviews, which showed older peoples' early responses. The COREQ (COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research) checklist was adhered to in the reporting of this study. RESULTS: Three themes emerged from older people's early experiences of social distancing: protective measures; current and future plans; and acceptance of a good life, but still a life to live. CONCLUSION: People over 70 adapted to household isolation, social distancing and shielding, by using social media and neighbourhood resources. Nurses and other professionals can develop holistic care for older people by listening to their experiences of what works for them, helping them link to local and distant supports. Understanding the holistic life view of older people, including death anxiety, is an important element of care planning; to help older people access the protective resources, they need to reduce the serious risks associated with coronavirus. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Older people engage with social media, and during the current pandemic and beyond nurses can engage with this medium to communicate with older people. The importance of nurses to understand some older people consider quality of life to be more important than longevity, which may impact on their adherence to health advice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Independent Living/psychology , Physical Distancing , Quality of Life , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Ireland , Male , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , United Kingdom
17.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci ; 76(7): e249-e255, 2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694762

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: With the spread of COVID-19, the Netherlands implemented a policy to keep citizens physically distanced. We hypothesize that consequent reduction in the frequency of social contacts, personal losses, and the experience of general threats in society reduced well-being. METHODS: Data were collected from 1,679 Dutch community-dwelling participants aged 65-102 years comprising a longitudinal online panel. Social and emotional loneliness and mental health were measured in May 2020, that is, 2 months after the implementation of the measures, and earlier in October and November 2019. RESULTS: In this pandemic, the loneliness of older people increased, but mental health remained roughly stable. The policy measures for physical distancing did not cause much social isolation but personal losses, worries about the pandemic, and a decline in trust in societal institutions were associated with increased mental health problems and especially emotional loneliness. DISCUSSION: The consequences of long-term social isolation and well-being must be closely monitored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Loneliness , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Independent Living/statistics & numerical data , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Social Isolation/psychology
19.
Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S220-S221, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-616909

ABSTRACT

Restrictions related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pose unique and significant challenges for community-dwelling caregivers and people with dementia, including disrupted routines, a lack of structure, decreased access to respite care, and new or worsening safety issues related to interpersonal violence and hygiene. In addition to identifying issues confronting caregivers, the authors also describe possible ways to address some of these pressing concerns. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Caregivers/psychology , Coronavirus Infections , Dementia/nursing , Dementia/psychology , Independent Living/psychology , Infection Control , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Middle Aged , Respite Care , Social Isolation/psychology
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