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J. Ageing Longev., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 9 articles

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9 pages, 2372 KiB  
Article
“The Ark of Rights”: Development of a Board Game to Empower Older Adults Regarding Their Rights
by Carla Sílvia Fernandes, Camila Neto, Catarina Silva, Sara Dionísio, Susana Oliveira, Isabel Amorim, Alice Delerue Matos and Maria Manuela Martins
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 107-115; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010009 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1704
Abstract
There is an urgent need to ensure the rights of older adults. In particular, there is a lack of awareness of human rights by older adults themselves, for which intervention strategies should be developed. Due to the need for intervention at this level, [...] Read more.
There is an urgent need to ensure the rights of older adults. In particular, there is a lack of awareness of human rights by older adults themselves, for which intervention strategies should be developed. Due to the need for intervention at this level, a board game was created to empower older adults regarding their rights using a dynamic and interactive method. This article aims to describe the development stages of the board game “The Ark of Rights”® up to its pilot study. Its development followed three stages: A first phase to review the scientific literature and benchmarks on the rights of older persons, a second phase to define the game design and collect statements from older people for the game, and a third phase to test the game. The European Portuguese Validation of the System Usability Scale (SUS) was used to assess the latter phase. Approximately 200 older people contributed to the game’s contents (second phase), and 74 participated and positively evaluated the game’s usability and their satisfaction with its use (third phase). In summary, the game “The Ark of Rights” revealed itself to be a resource for empowering older adults regarding their rights. It also enables the identification of possible human rights violations among older adults and subsequent intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Healthy Ageing)
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15 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Religious Bodies–Lutheran Chaplains Interpreting and Asserting Religiousness of People with Severe Dementia in Finnish Nursing Homes
by Jari Pirhonen, Auli Vähäkangas and Suvi-Maria Saarelainen
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 92-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010008 - 02 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
The prevalence of dementia is increasing globally as populations grow older. Moderate and severe dementia are the main reasons for older people entering long-term care in Finland, and the vast majority of nursing home residents have it. Regarding mild dementia, religiousness is known [...] Read more.
The prevalence of dementia is increasing globally as populations grow older. Moderate and severe dementia are the main reasons for older people entering long-term care in Finland, and the vast majority of nursing home residents have it. Regarding mild dementia, religiousness is known to slow the progress of the disease, offer solace, and maintain a life-long identity. However, we know practically nothing about the religiousness of people with severe dementia. This study sought to fill the gap by interviewing Lutheran chaplains working in Finnish nursing homes. The data were subjected to qualitative content analysis to understand: (I) how people with severe dementia may express their remaining religiousness and (II) how the chaplains asserted the religiousness of people whom their words often did not reach. The clearest expressions of religiousness found were bodily, including expressions of emotions and fumbling liturgical movements. The chaplains utilized prayer services, active presence, and generational intelligence to respond to residents’ religiousness. The main conclusion is that people with severe dementia can express their faith and are eager to practice it when opportunities are provided to do so. Our research challenges care providers and religious communities to better acknowledge the religiousness of people with severe dementia. Full article
2 pages, 177 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Journal of Ageing and Longevity in 2022
by JAL Editorial Office
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 90-91; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010007 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
18 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Planning for Aging and Frailty: A Qualitative Study on Older Adults’ Perceptions, Facilitators, and Barriers
by Erica Frechman, Harleah Buck, Mary S. Dietrich, Bethany A. Rhoten, Amanda Davis and Cathy A. Maxwell
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 72-89; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010006 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2304
Abstract
Aging is often accompanied by health events that may disrupt older adults’ desires to age in place. Understanding older adults’ perceptions of planning for their aging process was a priority to identify how planning behaviors occur. Our study explored how people perceive the [...] Read more.
Aging is often accompanied by health events that may disrupt older adults’ desires to age in place. Understanding older adults’ perceptions of planning for their aging process was a priority to identify how planning behaviors occur. Our study explored how people perceive the concept of planning for aging and frailty, and identified the facilitators and barriers involved in the planning process. Using conventional qualitative content analysis, we used the data from semi-structured interviews of twenty community-dwelling older adults aged 50–80 years old. Demographic information was obtained, followed by the participant interviews. Seventeen code categories surfaced including six categories in the perception domain (i.e., internal, external, and future-oriented), seven categories in the facilitators domain (i.e., internal, external, and systems), and four categories in the barriers domain (i.e., internal, and systems). The emergent categories included understanding one’s perception of planning through a holistic lens, the importance of experiences with self/others as facilitators, and the physical/cognitive/emotional factors that serve as barriers within a larger sphere of societal influence. Planning for aging and frailty is an innovative concept that normalizes the aging process and promotes planning through an awareness of aging across the life-course domains. Future research is warranted for intervention development to help older adults recognize and actively plan for aging and to address the barriers involved. Full article
13 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Arbiters of Time: The Experience of Adults Aging with Spinal Cord Injury
by Lisa Reber, Nasya S. W. Tan, Michelle A. Meade, Martin Forchheimer, Denise G. Tate and Philippa Clarke
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 59-71; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010005 - 25 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1716
Abstract
Time is a fundamental component of our lives. It is both objective, a structure outside of ourselves, and subjective, an element that is relative to the life we live and how we experience it. The disabled body must come to terms with time [...] Read more.
Time is a fundamental component of our lives. It is both objective, a structure outside of ourselves, and subjective, an element that is relative to the life we live and how we experience it. The disabled body must come to terms with time to understand the future impact of the injury and its progression, as well as how the injury will impose a new more accelerated aging process in the body, resulting in a compressed lifespan. The body also challenges time’s control of the body. This paper extends the literature on the study of time to the experience of adults aging with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Drawing from interviews conducted with adults with long-term SCI, it examines how their narratives about aging and the proactive management of their lives reflect their orientation toward and anticipation of the future. Recognizing that the spoken word often carries a multiplicity of meanings, it considers what participants’ words might imply about their engagement with time. The results of this study show that the process of aging is characterized by uncertainty and the expectations of functional and health decline, requiring a sense of urgency and vigilance in the face of the uncertain course of aging with SCI. Participants understood that their lifespan was compressed due to the physiological impact of accelerated aging. Knowledge of this compression made time a scarce resource. Yet, despite it being the arbiters of their futures, so too were they the arbiters of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Healthy, Safe and Active Aging)
13 pages, 905 KiB  
Article
How Families’ Use of Digital Technology Can Be a Tool for Reducing Loneliness and Improving Food Intake among Older Adults
by Ida Synnøve Bårvåg Grini and Øydis Ueland
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 46-58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010004 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how a technical solution implemented among older adults and connected with an app supervised by an app administrator can reduce loneliness, prevent malnutrition, and inspire social eating and networking. In October 2020, a survey was [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore how a technical solution implemented among older adults and connected with an app supervised by an app administrator can reduce loneliness, prevent malnutrition, and inspire social eating and networking. In October 2020, a survey was distributed to 3500 administrators of the one-button computer communication tool Komp. Komp consists of a screen placed with older adults and an app used by the administrator of the tool. The survey addresses aspects that can provide new insights into how older adults can use digital solutions as a link to family and external networks. The study results show that due to COVID-19, 65% of respondents said they used Komp more frequently than before, but only 5% of current use was associated with eating meals together. However, 54% of the app administrators indicated that this could be a good future activity. Furthermore, 88% thought Komp could contribute to more socializing through shared meals. This study elicited almost 1650 constructive comments on experience, use, and recommendations. The study results show that digital solutions can be a link between older adults and their families and external network. Such tools can address needs connected to loneliness, social isolation, and food intake. Full article
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13 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
Association between Malnutrition Risk Factors and Physical Function in Community-Dwelling Adults ≥80 Years
by Sussi F. Buhl, Pia Ø. Olsen, Trine Thilsing and Paolo Caserotti
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 33-45; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010003 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Malnutrition is associated with accelerated loss of physical function in old adults, but the assessment of malnutrition in primary prevention is challenging. This study aimed to investigate if malnutrition risk factors; poor appetite, dysphagia, and poor dental state, were associated with reduced physical [...] Read more.
Malnutrition is associated with accelerated loss of physical function in old adults, but the assessment of malnutrition in primary prevention is challenging. This study aimed to investigate if malnutrition risk factors; poor appetite, dysphagia, and poor dental state, were associated with reduced physical function in community-dwelling adults ≥80 years. The study is based on data from two cross-sectional studies. Physical function was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery (score ≤ 9 indicate reduced physical function) and poor appetite, dysphagia and poor dental status was assessed by single questions. A total of 900 participants were included (age 85.1 ± 3.7 years; 60.9% females; 62.8% had reduced physical function). Participants with reduced physical function were older, had a higher BMI, more polypharmacy, more falls, and lower quality of life. Poor appetite was reported by 10.8% and associated with reduced physical function (adjusted-OR 1.93, 95%CI 1.18–3.15). No association was identified between dysphagia, poor dental state and reduced physical function (adjusted-OR 0.96, 95%CI 0.53–1.75 and adjusted-OR 0.99, 95%CI 0.41–2.35, respectively). The assessment of appetite during primary preventive strategies was feasible and may offer an opportunity for identification of very old community-dwelling adults at risk of reduced physical function. Full article
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22 pages, 1192 KiB  
Article
Qualitative Study on Important Elements of Life for Japanese and Thai Older Adults
by Nobuko Shimizu, Takako Yamada, Nobuyuki Honda, Miyako Mochizuki, Mayumi Kato, Noboru Hasegawa, Hunsa Sethabouppha, Nattaya Suwankruhasn and Chalinee Suvanayos
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 11-32; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010002 - 30 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Previous studies have demonstrated relationships between religiosity, physical and mental health-related outcomes, and healthy collective longevity. This qualitative study investigated the elements of pleasure and fulfillment in older adults living in the super-aged society of Japan and the rapidly super-aging society of Thailand. [...] Read more.
Previous studies have demonstrated relationships between religiosity, physical and mental health-related outcomes, and healthy collective longevity. This qualitative study investigated the elements of pleasure and fulfillment in older adults living in the super-aged society of Japan and the rapidly super-aging society of Thailand. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 older adults—seven from Japan, and seven from Thailand, covering five topics: (1) pleasures in daily life; (2) purpose in daily life; (3) thoughts about aging; (4) things they do actively for their health; and (5) things they worry about. Data were analyzed using the Steps for Coding and Theorization method. Japanese older adults mostly engaged in individually accomplished pleasures, whereas Thai older adults aimed to experience pleasures involving others. Thai older adults viewed aging as a natural phenomenon and stressed the importance of self-regulation. The Japanese participants, however, focused on activities that would avoid the burden of long-term care, maintain their current lifestyle, and help with self-improvement and lifetime learning. Although Thai older adults derived pleasure and fulfillment from being helpful toward others, Japanese older adults’ narratives indicated that they tended to worry about others. Differences between the two countries’ lifestyles, environments, beliefs, and religious contexts explain the differences in the mechanisms by which Japanese and Thai older adults experience joy, fulfillment, and purpose in life. These results suggest ways to improve quality of life, extend healthy life expectancy, and prevent cognitive decline in older adults thriving in aging societies. Full article
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10 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
Higher Frequencies of T-Cells Expressing NK-Cell Markers and Chemokine Receptors in Parkinson’s Disease
by David Goldeck, Claudia Schulte, Marcia Cristina Teixeira dos Santos, Dieter Scheller, Lilly Öttinger, Graham Pawelec, Christian Deuschle, Daniela Berg, Andre Nogueira da Costa and Walter Maetzler
J. Ageing Longev. 2023, 3(1), 1-10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal3010001 - 22 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1637
Abstract
Immune cells are thought to be involved in a destructive cycle of sterile cerebral inflammatory responses in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Despite their peripheral origin, immune cells may enter the CNS due to impaired blood–brain barrier function and may potentially [...] Read more.
Immune cells are thought to be involved in a destructive cycle of sterile cerebral inflammatory responses in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Despite their peripheral origin, immune cells may enter the CNS due to impaired blood–brain barrier function and may potentially contribute to neuronal damage. Hence, specific characteristics of peripherally activated immune cells could help in understanding neurodegeneration in PD and could potentially serve as accessible disease markers. To investigate immune cell activation status, the expression of receptors for cell surface molecules CD161, NKG2A, NKG2C and NKG2D as well as chemokine receptors CCR6, CXCR2, CXCR3 and CCR5 associated with neurodegenerative diseases was investigated. The frequencies of peripheral CD8+ T-cells expressing the inhibitory and activating receptors NKG2A and NKG2C, and the activating receptor NKG2D were higher in PD patients than in healthy matched controls. The frequencies of NKG2C+CD8− cells were also higher, whereas the frequencies of CD161+ cells were not significantly different. Of the chemokine receptor-expressing cells, only the proportion of CD4−CD56+CCR5+ T-cells was higher in PD patients than in the controls. These observations support the hypothesis that an imbalance in the activation state of T-cells plays a role in the pathological processes of PD and suggest that peripheral blood immune cell phenotypes could be specific early markers for inflammation in PD. Full article
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