Innovation in Aging
Latest Publications


(FIVE YEARS 11013)



Published By Oxford University Press


2022 ◽  
Natalie D Jenkins ◽  
Emiel O Hoogendijk ◽  
Joshua J Armstrong ◽  
Nathan A Lewis ◽  
Janice M Ranson ◽  

Abstract Background and Objectives There is an urgent need to better understand frailty and it’s predisposing factors. Although numerous cross-sectional studies have identified various risk and protective factors of frailty, there is a limited understanding of longitudinal frailty progression. Furthermore, discrepancies in the methodologies of these studies hamper comparability of results. Here, we use a coordinated analytical approach in five independent cohorts to evaluate longitudinal trajectories of frailty and the effect of three previously identified critical risk factors: sex, age, and education. Research Design and Methods We derived a frailty index (FI) for five cohorts based on the accumulation of deficits approach. Four linear and quadratic growth curve models were fit in each cohort independently. Models were adjusted for sex/gender, age, years of education, and a sex/gender-by-age interaction term. Results Models describing linear progression of frailty best fit the data. Annual increases in FI ranged from 0.002 in the InCHIANTI cohort to 0.009 in the LASA. Women had consistently higher levels of frailty than men in all cohorts, ranging from an increase in the mean FI in women from 0.014 in the HRS cohort to 0.046 in the LASA cohort. However, the associations between sex/gender and rate of frailty progression were mixed. There was significant heterogeneity in within-person trajectories of frailty about the mean curves. Discussion and Implications Our findings of linear longitudinal increases in frailty highlight important avenues for future research. Specifically, we encourage further research to identify potential effect modifiers or groups that would benefit from targeted or personalized interventions.

2022 ◽  
An Kosurko ◽  
Rachel V Herron ◽  
Alisa Grigorovich ◽  
Rachel J Bar ◽  
Pia Kontos ◽  

Abstract Background and Objectives Older adult social inclusion involves meaningful participation that is increasingly mediated by information communication technology (ICT) and in rural areas requires understanding of older adults’ experiences in the context of the digital divide. This paper examines how the multi-modal streaming (live, pre-recorded, blended in-person) of the Sharing Dance Older Adults program developed by Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) and Baycrest, influenced social inclusion processes and outcomes in rural settings. Research Design and Methods Data were collected from on-site observations of dance sessions, research team reflections, focus groups and interviews with older adult participants and their carers in pilot studies in the Peterborough Region of Ontario, and the Westman Region of Manitoba, Canada (2017-2019). There were 289 participants including older adults, people living with dementia, family carers, long-term-care staff, community facilitators, and volunteers. Analytic themes were framed in the context of rural older adult social exclusion. Results Remote delivery addressed barriers of physical distance by providing access to the arts-based program and enhancing opportunities for participation. Constraints were introduced by the use of technology in rural areas and mitigated by in-person facilitators and different streaming options. Meaningful engagement in dynamic interactions in the dance was achieved by involving local staff and volunteers in facilitation of and feedback on the program and its delivery. Different streaming technologies influenced social inclusion in different ways: live-stream enhanced connectedness, but constrained technical challenges; pre-recorded was reliable, but less social; blended delivery provided options, but personalization was unsustainable. Discussion and Implications Understanding different participants’ experiences of different technologies will contribute to more effective remote delivery of arts-based programs with options to use technology in various contexts depending on individual and organizational capacities.

2022 ◽  
Madeline R Sterling ◽  
Joanna Bryan Ringel ◽  
Jacklyn Cho ◽  
Catherine A Riffin ◽  
Ariel C Avgar

Abstract Background and Objectives While family caregivers have traditionally provided care for older adults with chronic conditions and disabilities, the demand for paid home care workers has increased in the last decade. Although typically thought to assist with personal care emerging data suggest that paid home care workers assist with a wider scope of care. However, the extent and quality of the care they deliver remains poorly understood. Research Design and Methods Using the Empire State Poll, a telephone-based cross-sectional survey of 800 adults in New York State, we characterized the types of care that paid home care workers provided and the perceived value of that care. Results Of 800 participants surveyed, 274 reported that they or an immediate family member received care from a paid home care worker (34.3%). Of these, the majority (73.9%) reported that paid home care workers provided emotional and/or medical care, in addition to personal care. In adjusted models, providing emotional and medical care (compared to personal care alone) was associated with nearly a two-fold greater perception of importance and experience by the care recipients. Discussion and Implications Our findings provide additional data on how paid home care workers contribute to patient care, from the perspective of the care recipient(s). The type of care provided is associated with varying magnitudes of perceived quality. Although limited to New York, these findings have implications for paid home care workers’ training and compensation. Future studies are warranted to investigate the specific factors that mediate the association between types of care provided and their perceived value.

2022 ◽  
Samantha A Wilson ◽  
Paula Byrne ◽  
Sarah E Rodgers ◽  
Michelle Maden

Abstract Background and Objectives A systematic review was conducted to explore the use of smartphones and tablet computers as cognitive and memory aids by older adults with and without cognitive impairment, specifically the effects of smartphone and tablet use on participants’ cognition and memory, and the barriers to facilitators to smartphone and tablet use for cognitive and memory support. Research Design and Methods A systematic search of six key databases found 11,895 citations published between 2010 and 2021. Studies were included if they involved community-dwelling older adults with or without cognitive impairment arising from acquired brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, or dementia, and if they evaluated everyday smartphone or tablet device use for cognition, memory, or activities of daily living. Results A total of 28 papers were included in the narrative synthesis. There was some evidence that the use of smartphones and tablets could aid cognitive function in older adults without cognitive impairment, particularly executive function and processing speed. There was modest evidence that smartphone and tablet use could support memory in both older adults without cognitive impairment and those with acquired bran injury and dementia. Discussion and Implications Smartphones and tablets were seen by users as acceptable, enjoyable, and non-stigmatising alternatives to conventional assistive technology devices; however, current use of smartphone and tablet devices is hindered by the digital literacy of older adults, a lack of accommodation for older adult users’ motor and sensory impairments, and a lack of input from clinicians and researchers. Much of the evidence presented in this review derives from case studies and small-scale trials of smartphone and tablet training interventions. Further research is needed into older adults’ use of smartphones and tablets for cognitive support before and after the onset of cognitive impairment in order to develop effective evidence-based smart technology cognition and memory aids.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
Laura P Sands ◽  
Quyen Do ◽  
Pang Du ◽  
Rachel Pruchno

Abstract Background and Objectives Our understanding of the impact of disaster exposure on the physical health of older adults is largely based on hospital admissions for acute illnesses in the weeks following a disaster. Studies of longer-term outcomes have centered primarily on mental health. Missing have been studies examining whether exposure to disaster increases the risk for the onset of chronic diseases. We examined the extent to which 2 indicators of disaster exposure (geographic exposure and peritraumatic stress) were associated with new onset of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and lung disease to improve our understanding of the long-term physical health consequences of disaster exposure. Research Design and Methods We linked self-reported data collected prior to and following Hurricane Sandy from a longitudinal panel study with Medicare data to assess time to new onset of chronic diseases in the 4 years after the hurricane. Results We found that older adults who reported high levels of peritraumatic stress from Hurricane Sandy had more than twice the risk of experiencing a new diagnosis of lung disease, diabetes, and arthritis in the 4 years after the hurricane compared to older adults who did not experience high levels of peritraumatic stress. Geographic proximity to the hurricane was not associated with these outcomes. Analyses controlled for known risk factors for the onset of chronic diseases, including demographic, psychosocial, and health risks. Discussion and Implications Findings reveal that physical health effects of disaster-related peritraumatic stress extend beyond the weeks and months after a disaster and include new onset of chronic diseases that are associated with loss of functioning and early mortality.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
James A Croker ◽  
Julie Bobitt ◽  
Kanika Arora ◽  
Brian Kaskie

Abstract Background and Objectives There is a need to know more about cannabis use among terminally diagnosed older adults, specifically whether it operates as a complement or alternative to palliative care. The objective is to explore differences among the terminal illness population within the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program (IMCP) by their use of palliative care. Research Design and Methods The study uses primary, cross-sectional survey data from 708 terminally diagnosed patients, residing in Illinois, and enrolled in the IMCP. We compared the sample on palliative care utilization through logistic regression models, examined associations between palliative care and self-reported outcome improvements using ordinary least squares regressions, and explored differences in average pain levels using independent t-tests. Results 115 of 708 terminally diagnosed IMCP participants were receiving palliative care. We find increased odds of palliative care utilization for cancer (odds ratio [OR] [SE] = 2.15 [0.53], p < .01), low psychological well-being (OR [SE] = 1.97 [0.58], p < .05), medical complexity (OR [SE] = 2.05 [0.70], p < .05), and prior military service (OR [SE] = 2.01 [0.68], p < .05). Palliative care utilization is positively associated with improvement ratings for pain (7.52 [3.41], p < .05) and ability to manage health outcomes (8.29 [3.61], p < .01). Concurrent use of cannabis and opioids is associated with higher pain levels at initiation of cannabis dosing (p < .05). Discussion and Implications Our results suggest that cannabis is largely an alternative to palliative care for terminal patients. For those in palliative care, it is a therapeutic complement used at higher levels of pain.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
Robert Toups ◽  
Theresa J Chirles ◽  
Johnathon P Ehsani ◽  
Jeffrey P Michael ◽  
John P K Bernstein ◽  

Abstract Background and Objectives Over 10,000 people a day turn 65 in the United States. For many older adults, driving represents an essential component of independence and is one of the most important factors in overall mobility. Recent survey studies in older adults suggest that up to 60% of older adult drivers with mild cognitive impairment, and up to 30% with dementia, continue to drive. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive and detailed resource on the topics of cognition and driving for clinicians, researchers, and policymakers working on efforts related to older adult drivers. Research Design and Methods Publications on PubMed and Medline and discussions with experts working in geriatrics, technology, driving policy, psychology, and diverse aspects of driving performance were utilized to inform the current review. Results Research indicates that there is a complex and inverse correlation between multiple cognitive measures, driving performance, and risky driving behaviors. The fragmented nature of available peer-reviewed literature, and a reliance on correlative data, do not currently allow for the identification of the temporal and reciprocal nature of the interplay between cognition and driving endpoints. Discussion and Implications There are currently no widely accepted definitions, conceptual models, or uniform set of analyses for conducting geriatric research that is focused on driving. Establishing conventions for conducting research that harmonizes the fields of geriatrics, cognition, and driving research is critical for the development of the evidence base that will inform clinical practice and road safety policy.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
Talha Ali ◽  
Michael R Elliott ◽  
Toni C Antonucci ◽  
Belinda L Needham ◽  
Jon Zelner ◽  

Abstract Background and Objectives Social support networks of older adults have been linked to their health and well-being; however, findings regarding the effects of specific network characteristics have been mixed. Additionally, due to demographic shifts increasing numbers of older adults live outside of traditional family structures. Previous studies have not systematically examined the resulting complexity and heterogeneity of older adults’ social networks. Our objectives were to examine this complexity and heterogeneity by developing a multidimensional typology of social networks that simultaneously considers multiple structural and functional network characteristics, and to examine differences in network type membership by sociodemographic characteristics, health characteristics, and birth cohort. Research Design and Methods Participants included 5,192 adults aged 57–85 years in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project at rounds 1 (2005–2006) and 3 (2015–2016). Data were collected on social relationships including network size, diversity, frequency of contact, and perceived support and strain in relationships. We used latent class analysis to derive the network typology and multinomial logistic regression to examine differences in network type membership by sociodemographic characteristics, health characteristics, and birth cohort. Results Older adults were classified into 5 distinct social network types: (i) large, with strain; (ii) large, without strain; (iii) small, diverse, low contact; (iv) small, restricted, high contact; and (v) medium size and support. Membership in these network types varied by age, gender, marital status, race/ethnicity, education, mental health, and birth cohort. Discussion and Implications Network typologies can elucidate the varied interpersonal environments of older adults and identify individuals who lack social connectedness on multiple network dimensions and are therefore at a higher risk of social isolation.

2021 ◽  
Chanee D Fabius ◽  
Lauren J Parker ◽  
Roland J Thorpe

Abstract Background and Objectives Nearly 8.2 million of community-dwelling, older Medicare beneficiaries receive support from long-term services and supports (LTSS) with routine daily activities. Prior work demonstrates disability related disparities; however, it is unclear whether these patterns persist among LTSS recipients and across specific sets of activities. We examine race and gender differences in receiving help with self-care (e.g., eating), mobility (e.g., getting around the house), and household (e.g., shopping) activities in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling Medicare Beneficiaries receiving LTSS. Research Design and Methods Cross-sectional analysis of 1,808 White and Black older adults receiving assistance with routine daily activities in the 2015 National Health and Aging Trends Study. Bivariate statistics were used to describe the sample and provide comparisons of characteristics by race and gender. Logistic regression models examined race and gender differences in receiving assistance with self-care, mobility, and household activities after adjusting for sociodemographic and health characteristics. Results Race and gender differences were observed across all sociodemographic and health characteristics, as well as for all forms of assistance. Relative to White men, Black men had lower odds of receiving help with self-care activities. White and black women had higher odds, and Black men had lower odds of getting help with mobility activities than White men. Black men, and White and Black women all had higher odds of receiving assistance with household tasks compared to White men. Discussion and Implications Our findings indicate that, despite prior evidence of disability related disparities, the receipt of help with self-care, mobility, and household activities varies by race and gender. Findings reveals several target areas for future research. Future work should examine the role of cultural and social preferences for care, as well as the appropriateness of help, as evidenced by health service use and changes in quality of life.

2021 ◽  
Laurie Kennedy-Malone ◽  
Derek J Hevel ◽  
Kourtney B Sappenfield ◽  
Heidi Scheer ◽  
Christine Zecca ◽  

Abstract Background and Objectives Smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods can provide novel insights into modeling and predicting activity-related behaviors, yet many racial and ethnic minority groups report barriers to participating in mobile health research. We aim to (1) report on strategies used to successfully recruit and retain minority older adults in a smartphone-based physical activity and sedentary behavior EMA study and (2) report on participants’ perceptions of study acceptability. Research Design and Methods Researchers partnered with trusted individuals and community organizations serving older adults to facilitate recruitment for an 8-day EMA study of minority older adults’ physical activity and sedentary behavior. Additional strategies such as having experienced, culturally competent team members and available technical support were employed to further recruitment and retention efforts. A post study questionnaire assessed participants’ perceptions of study acceptability. Results In total, 123 minority older adults were recruited; 102 met inclusion criteria, 91 completed the study, and 89 completed the post-study questionnaire. The sample consisted of predominantly low-income African American women with an average age of 70 years. Responses to open-ended questions revealed the most enjoyable aspects of study participation were the ability to learn more about themselves, contribute to science and/or their community, engage in a new activity, and receive financial compensation. Participants reported the least enjoyable aspects of the study included the frequency of EMA questionnaires, apprehension of missing EMA questionnaires, carrying the smartphone, and difficulty wearing the accelerometer. Most participants (97%) expressed interest in being contacted for future studies. Discussion and Implications Low-income, older African Americans reported positive perceptions of a smartphone-based EMA study of physical activity and sedentary behavior. Findings suggest that applying demonstrated strategies to engage this population in technology-based health research can enhance recruitment and retention efforts; however, it is unclear which strategies are most effective in reducing participation barriers.

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