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Geriatrics, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Organizational Readiness to Implement the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in Dialysis Facilities
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
A gap exists between the development and uptake of evidence-based health promotion programs in health care settings. One reason for this gap is lack of attention to organizational readiness. The objective of this study was to assess organizational readiness to implement the Chronic
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A gap exists between the development and uptake of evidence-based health promotion programs in health care settings. One reason for this gap is lack of attention to organizational readiness. The objective of this study was to assess organizational readiness to implement the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in dialysis facilities. Survey data were collected from dialysis staff using a semi-structured Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change questionnaire. Change efficacy and change commitment scale ratings were all above 3.0, indicating a moderate level of readiness among staff. Profession and level of education were significantly associated with mean change efficacy scale ratings. Textual data revealed benefits to patients, implementation barriers and facilitators, and the influence of facility environment and culture. The findings of the current study suggest that additional efforts to advance the implementation of evidence-based health promotion programs in dialysis facilities are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Disease Self-Management in Older Adult Populations)
Open AccessReview The Burden of Dysphagia on Family Caregivers of the Elderly: A Systematic Review
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Abstract
With the rapid increase in the elderly population, there is a simultaneous increased need for care provided by family caregivers. Research in the field of head and neck cancer has indicated that caring for patients with dysphagia can impact a caregiver’s quality of
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With the rapid increase in the elderly population, there is a simultaneous increased need for care provided by family caregivers. Research in the field of head and neck cancer has indicated that caring for patients with dysphagia can impact a caregiver’s quality of life. Given that many older adults present with dysphagia, one can assume that their caregivers are equally, if not more greatly, affected. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine all relevant literature regarding the caregiver burden in caregivers of community-dwelling older adults with dysphagia. A review of relevant studies published through April 2018 was conducted using search terms related to dysphagia, caregiver burden, and older adults. The search yielded 2331 unique abstracts. Of the 176 abstracts that underwent full review, four were accepted. All reported an increase in caregiver burden due to presence of dysphagia in care recipients. Worsening feeding-related behaviors were associated with burden, and the use of feeding tubes was more frequently associated with “heavy burden”. The presence of dysphagia in community-dwelling older adults is a factor leading to an increased burden among caregivers. Although aspects of dysphagia play a role in the caregiver burden, the specific reasons for the increased burden are unknown. Clinicians should be aware of dysphagia as a source of the burden, and future studies should further define the relationship between dysphagia and the caregiver burden in order to develop comprehensive approaches to care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dysphagia in Older and Frail Adults)
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Open AccessArticle Reaching Out to Rural Caregivers and Veterans with Dementia Utilizing Clinical Video-Telehealth
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Context: A clinical video telehealth (CVT) program was implemented to improve access and quality of dementia care to patients and their caregivers in rural areas. The program was offered as part of an established dementia clinic/geriatric primary care clinic in collaboration with five
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Context: A clinical video telehealth (CVT) program was implemented to improve access and quality of dementia care to patients and their caregivers in rural areas. The program was offered as part of an established dementia clinic/geriatric primary care clinic in collaboration with five community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC’s) affiliated with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in middle Tennessee. Telehealth support was provided by a physician–social worker team visit. Methods: Telehealth training and equipment were provided to clinic personnel, functioning part-time with other collateral clinical duties. Patients and caregivers were referred by primary care providers and had an average of one to two CVT encounters originating at their local CBOC lasting 20 to 30 min. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients and caregivers receiving CVT support were collected by retrospective electronic medical record (EMR) review. Results: Over a 3-year period 45 CVT encounters were performed on patient–caregiver dyads, followed for a mean of 15 (1–36) months. Some 80% patients had dementia confirmed and 89% of these had serious medical comorbidities, took an average of eight medications, and resided at a distance of 103 (76–148) miles from the medical center. Dementia patients included 33% with late stage dementia, 25% received additional care from a mental health provider, 23% took antipsychotic medications, 19% transitioned to a higher level of care, and 19% expired an average of 10.2 months following consultation. Significant caregiver distress was present in 47% of family members. Consult recommendations included 64% community-based long-term care services and supports (LTSS), 36% medications, and 22% further diagnostic testing. Acceptance of the CVT encounter was 98%, with 8770 travel miles saved. Conclusions: CVT is well received and may be helpful in providing dementia care and supporting dementia caregivers to obtain LTSS for high-need older adults in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Religion, Spirituality and/or Belief in Positive Ageing for Older Adults
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: The concept of positive ageing is gaining recognition as an approach to better understand the lives of older adults throughout the world. Positive ageing encompasses the various ways in which older adults approach life challenges associated with ageing and how certain
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(1) Background: The concept of positive ageing is gaining recognition as an approach to better understand the lives of older adults throughout the world. Positive ageing encompasses the various ways in which older adults approach life challenges associated with ageing and how certain approaches allow older adults to age in a more positive way. This paper makes a contribution to the field by examining the role of religion, spirituality and/or belief in relation to positive ageing; (2) Methods: Qualitative focus groups with 14 older adults living in West London explored the role and importance religion, spirituality and/or belief held in their everyday lives and how this could be incorporated into the idea of positive ageing; (3) Results: Religion, spirituality and/or belief were found to play a number of roles in the everyday lives of the older adults, including being a source of strength, comfort and hope in difficult times and bringing about a sense of community and belonging; (4) Conclusion: This paper argues that religion, spirituality and/or belief should be included within positive ageing literature and be viewed as a type of support (amongst multiple others) that helps older adults to live positive lives despite the many challenges of ageing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer in Later Life: The Role of Age at First Marriage
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine how age at first marriage is related to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and cancer in later life. We analyzed longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 2129 older adults (born in the
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The objective of this study was to examine how age at first marriage is related to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and cancer in later life. We analyzed longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 2129 older adults (born in the 1940s or earlier) in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. We found that for men in this cohort, the age at first marriage that was related to the lowest risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer in later life was the early 30s; men who first married at either younger or older ages had significantly higher odds of experiencing CVD and cancer. Interestingly, for women in this cohort, the age at first marriage was not related to the risk of either CVD or cancer. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Older Adults’ Beliefs, Knowledge and Preferences for Achieving Healthy Vitamin D Status: A Narrative Review
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Autonomy and mobility are, in many cases, key elements underlying positive ageing. Vitamin D (vitD) is essential to maintaining musculoskeletal health and hence mobility; ensuring adequate vitD status is important in positive ageing. However, vitD deficiency persists in ~10–30% of older adults in
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Autonomy and mobility are, in many cases, key elements underlying positive ageing. Vitamin D (vitD) is essential to maintaining musculoskeletal health and hence mobility; ensuring adequate vitD status is important in positive ageing. However, vitD deficiency persists in ~10–30% of older adults in the Western world. The aim of this review was to explore older adult vitD beliefs, knowledge and preferences, in order to identify means to prevent vitD deficiency respectful of older peoples’ autonomy. Academic search-engines were used to explore the research literature with the keywords: vitamin D; older adults; preferences; knowledge; practices; beliefs. 22 recent studies were identified; although the majority of older people knew of vitD, knowledge about increased fall risk secondary to deficiency was limited and knowledge did not always correlate with adequate intake or status. There was evidence of confusion regarding vitD food sources, sun-exposure and health benefits, and although General Practitioners were trusted information sources they often did not discuss vitD with patients. Preferences varied significantly depending on geographic location, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education and cultural factors; overall, older people wanted more clear information about vitD. In conclusion, older people have a relatively high awareness of vitD, however, knowledge may be inaccurate and low in those most at risk, and knowledge of deficiency-associated fall risk is under-recognised. Furthermore, studies specifically addressing older adult preferences are lacking; an understanding of preferences, integrated into public health guidelines and implementation strategies, is key not only to decreasing the risk of vitamin D deficiency but also to enabling autonomy in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing, A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
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Open AccessCommentary Driving Decisions: Distinguishing Evaluations, Providers and Outcomes
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Driving is a highly valued instrumental activity of daily living on which many older adults depend for access to their community. The demand to address driving is changing as older adults experience increasing longevity while facing medical conditions that often affect their fitness
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Driving is a highly valued instrumental activity of daily living on which many older adults depend for access to their community. The demand to address driving is changing as older adults experience increasing longevity while facing medical conditions that often affect their fitness to drive. As one of the most complex of daily tasks, driving is a multifaceted issue that involves the older driver, family members, state licensing and health care practitioners. This commentary discusses potential options and strategies for making evidence-based fitness to drive decisions by differentiating between driving skills and driving capacities, and how these differences are manifested on the road. Typical service options are described using an algorithm format that suggests decision points with options and referrals for service based on the individual’s experiences and/or needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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Open AccessArticle Osteoporosis, Activities of Daily Living Skills, Quality of Life, and Dietary Adequacy of Congregate Meal Participants
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract
Osteoporosis, a chronic disease that results in low bone mass with an increased risk of fragility fractures, is prevalent in older adults. Diet can prevent or lessen the severity of osteoporosis. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess differences in diet,
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Osteoporosis, a chronic disease that results in low bone mass with an increased risk of fragility fractures, is prevalent in older adults. Diet can prevent or lessen the severity of osteoporosis. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess differences in diet, quality of life, self-rated health, and physical function between congregate meal participants with and without osteoporosis. Data were from telephone survey, 10th Annual National Survey of Older American Act Participants, a representative sample of congregate meal attendees across the United States. (N = 888). Osteoporosis was present in 20% of this population. Participants with, as compared to without, osteoporosis reported that their physical health limited moderate activities (31.5% vs. 18.9%, p = 0.026), stair climbing (32.2% vs. 22.8%, p = 0.032), and shopping (27.4 vs. 15.3, p = 0.018). More than half of the participants consumed less than the recommended servings of dairy, meat, grains, and fruits/vegetables regardless of osteoporosis status. Participants with osteoporosis had lower self-rated health and more physical limitations than people without osteoporosis. Although congregate meals are a way to improve nutritional intake, additional methods to improve nutrition (including education) may be of benefit, since undernutrition is a concern in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Nutrition)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Using the A/T/N Framework to Examine Driving in Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
The A/T/N classification system is the foundation of the 2018 NIA-AA Research Framework and is intended to guide the Alzheimer disease (AD) research agenda for the next 5–10 years. Driving is a widespread functional activity that may be particularly useful in investigation of
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The A/T/N classification system is the foundation of the 2018 NIA-AA Research Framework and is intended to guide the Alzheimer disease (AD) research agenda for the next 5–10 years. Driving is a widespread functional activity that may be particularly useful in investigation of functional changes in pathological AD before onset of cognitive symptoms. We examined driving in preclinical AD using the A/T/N framework and found that the onset of driving difficulties is most associated with abnormality of both amyloid and tau pathology, rather than amyloid alone. These results have implications for participant selection into clinical trials and for the application time of interventions aimed at prolonging the time of safe driving among older adults with preclinical AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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Open AccessArticle The Association of Fasting Glucose, Insulin, and C-Peptide, with 19-Year Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease in Older Japanese-American Men; the Honolulu Heart Program
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
The role of fasting glucose, insulin levels, and C-peptide in coronary heart disease (CHD) in non-diabetic individuals remains uncertain. We examined the association between fasting glucose, insulin and C-peptide with the long-term incidence of CHD in Japanese-American men. In 1980–1982, from a
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The role of fasting glucose, insulin levels, and C-peptide in coronary heart disease (CHD) in non-diabetic individuals remains uncertain. We examined the association between fasting glucose, insulin and C-peptide with the long-term incidence of CHD in Japanese-American men. In 1980–1982, from a random sample of the Honolulu Heart Program men (n = 1378), aged 61–81 years, data on several CHD and metabolic risk factors were obtained to examine the relation of fasting glucose, insulin and C-peptide to 19-year CHD incidence. Age-adjusted incidence of CHD increased with increasing quintiles of glucose, insulin and C-peptide. Age-adjusted CHD rates in the glucose quintiles were 11.9, 11.6, 14.4, 18.1 and 24.1 per 1000 person-years (trend p < 0.001). In individual Cox models (lowest quintiles of glucose, insulin and C-peptide as reference) the relative risks (95% confidence interval) of CHD incidence for the glucose quintiles adjusting for age, smoking, hypertension, cholesterol, physical activity, and body mass index, were 0.9 (0.6–1.4), 1.2 (0.8–1.8), 1.4 (0.9–2.2), and 1.7 (1.1–2.6), respectively (trend p = 0.004). Insulin and C-peptide were not significantly associated with CHD on multivariate analysis. Fasting glucose remained the only significant predictor of increased CHD risk (p = 0.003) in a model combining all 3 metabolic variables. In this cohort, only fasting glucose independently predicts long-term incidence of CHD. Age-adjusted insulin and C-peptide levels were associated with CHD incidence, but after adjustment for other risk factors, do not independently predict CHD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes in the Elderly)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effects of Walking on Coronary Heart Disease in Elderly Men with Diabetes
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 15 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have shown that walking is associated with increased longevity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular and age-related diseases. Whether walking benefits individuals with diabetes who are at high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) remains to be determined. The objective of
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Previous studies have shown that walking is associated with increased longevity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular and age-related diseases. Whether walking benefits individuals with diabetes who are at high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) remains to be determined. The objective of this study is to examine the association between walking and risk of CHD among elderly men with and without diabetes. Walking data was assessed in 2732 men aged 71 to 93 years participating in the Honolulu Heart Program from 1991–1993. Study participants were initially without disabilities and free of prevalent CHD. Men were then followed for incident CHD for up to 7 years. For men with diabetes who walked <0.25 miles/day, the age-adjusted incidence of CHD was significantly higher than in men without diabetes (27.1 vs. 12.7/1000 person years, p = 0.026). In contrast when distance walked was >1.5 miles/day, incidence of CHD was similar in men with and without diabetes (12.2 vs. 9.1/1000 person-years, p = 0.46). While risk of CHD declined significantly with increasing walking distance in men with diabetes after age and risk factor adjustment (p = 0.043, p = 0.025), associations in those without diabetes were weaker (p = 0.070, p = 0.10). These findings suggest that among elderly men with diabetes who are capable of physical activity, walking reduces CHD risk to levels similar to when diabetes is absent. Walking is an easy, safe and accessible form of physical activity that may have marked health benefits for elderly men with diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes in the Elderly)
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Open AccessArticle Altered Functional Brain Connectivity in Mild Cognitive Impairment during a Cognitively Complex Car Following Task
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can affect multiple cognitive abilities, leading to difficulty in performing complex, cognitively demanding daily tasks, such as driving. This study combined driving simulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain function in individuals with MCI while they
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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can affect multiple cognitive abilities, leading to difficulty in performing complex, cognitively demanding daily tasks, such as driving. This study combined driving simulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain function in individuals with MCI while they performed a car-following task. The behavioral driving performance of 24 patients with MCI and 20 healthy age-matched controls was compared during a simulated car-following task. Functional brain connectivity during driving was analyzed for a separate cohort of 15 patients with MCI and 15 controls. Individuals with MCI had minor difficulty with lane maintenance, exhibiting significantly increased variability in steering compared to controls. Patients with MCI also exhibited reduced connectivity between fronto-parietal regions, as well as between regions involved in cognitive control (medial frontal cortex) and regions important for visual processing (cuneus, angular gyrus, superior occipital cortex, inferior and superior parietal cortex). Greater difficulty in lane maintenance (i.e., increased steering variability and lane deviations) among individuals with MCI was further associated with increased connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and inferior frontal gyrus, as well as increased intra-cerebellar connectivity. Thus, compared to cognitively healthy controls, patients with MCI showed reduced connectivity between regions involved in visual attention, visual processing, cognitive control, and performance monitoring. Greater difficulty with lane maintenance among patients with MCI may reflect failure to inhibit components of the default-mode network (PCC), leading to interference with task-relevant networks as well as alterations in cerebellum connectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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Open AccessArticle Planning for a Nondriving Future: Behaviors and Beliefs among Middle-Aged and Older Drivers
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Despite the reality of older adults living many years after driving cessation, few prepare for the eventuality; empirically, planning for a nondriving future has not been directly quantified or explored. The following study quantifies (1) the extent of current drivers’ planning; (2) specific
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Despite the reality of older adults living many years after driving cessation, few prepare for the eventuality; empirically, planning for a nondriving future has not been directly quantified or explored. The following study quantifies (1) the extent of current drivers’ planning; (2) specific planning behaviors; (3) beliefs about benefits of planning; (4) drivers’ intention to plan more for future transportation needs; and (5) group differences associated with planning. In a predominantly female, black, urban sample of current drivers ages 53–92, fewer than half (42.1%) had planned at all for a nondriving future, with correspondingly low levels of planning behaviors reported. However, over 80% believed planning would help them meet their needs post-cessation and transition emotionally to being a nondriver. Most (85%) intended to plan more in the future as well, indicating further potential openness to the topic. Drivers who planned were older, drove less frequently, limited their driving to nearby places, reported less difficulty believing they would become a nondriver, and expected to continue driving three years less than non-planners. These findings suggest that drivers’ perceived nearness to driving cessation impacts planning for future transportation needs, and existing perceived benefits of planning may provide leverage to motivate action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
Open AccessArticle A Statewide Model for Assisting Nursing Home Residents to Transition Successfully to the Community
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
Minnesota’s Return to Community Initiative (RTCI) is a novel, statewide initiative to assist private paying nursing home residents to return to the community and to remain in that setting without converting to Medicaid. The objective of this manuscript is to describe in detail
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Minnesota’s Return to Community Initiative (RTCI) is a novel, statewide initiative to assist private paying nursing home residents to return to the community and to remain in that setting without converting to Medicaid. The objective of this manuscript is to describe in detail RTCI’s development and design, its key operational components, and characteristics of its clients and their care outcomes. Data on client characteristics and outcomes come from the Minimum Data Set, staff assessments of clients and caregivers, and Medicaid eligibility files. Most clients transitioned by the RTCI had entered the nursing facility from a hospital. Clients overwhelmingly wanted to return to the community and fit a health and functional profile making them good candidates for community discharge. Most clients went to a private residence, living alone or with a spouse; yet, adult children were the most frequent caregivers. At one year of follow-up 76% of individuals were alive and living in the community and only a small percentage (8.2%) had converted to Medicaid. The RTCI holds promise as a successful model for states to adopt in assisting individuals who are at risk to become long stay nursing home residents instead to return to the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessArticle The Relationship of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid on Mood and Coping Ability in Prediabetic Middle Aged and Older Adults
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
In 2010, approximately 79 million Americans had prediabetes and about 50 percent of those individuals were 65 years and older. The most effective diabetes prevention method in prediabetic adults is lifestyle modification. However, despite the benefits of lifestyle change, diabetes prevalence continues to
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In 2010, approximately 79 million Americans had prediabetes and about 50 percent of those individuals were 65 years and older. The most effective diabetes prevention method in prediabetic adults is lifestyle modification. However, despite the benefits of lifestyle change, diabetes prevalence continues to increase. Maintaining a regular exercise routine and a healthy eating plan may be difficult because of the negative emotional barriers (i.e., stress, mood) that a prediabetic individual faces. This is particularly evident in older individuals when you combine that with decreases in mobility and geriatric syndromes. A potential treatment for these emotional barriers is a natural supplement called 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA). In the current study, the group included 154 participants, both men and women, ranging between the ages of 41 to 71 years old. The study design was a double-blind, randomized parallel-group study. The Psychosocial Depressive Symptoms Questionnaire (PDS) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) were used to examine the effect of two doses of 5-ALA (15 mg and 50 mg) on various components of mood (i.e., hopefulness, loneliness, and motivation) and coping ability. Using SAS software, an ordered logistic regression model was used to analyze the association between the dose groups (control, 15 mg, and 50 mg) and the responses to the two questionnaires, the PDS and PSS, used in this study. An integrative literature review, using the PubMed database, searched for studies on the relationship between 5-ALA administration and mood and coping ability. Our literature review resulted in zero published articles. Next, we found that the intake of 5-ALA was significantly associated with improved coping ability (p = 0.004) and improved self-perception of effort spent (p = 0.002). Finally, we found a significant dose-dependent relationship for the association of 5-ALA intake on measures of effort (p = 0.003), loneliness (p = 0.006), and coping ability (p = 0.003). The 50 mg dose was more effective than the 15 mg dose in improving these measures. In conclusion, after 12 weeks of taking 5-ALA, we found significant improvements in self-perception of effort spent, loneliness, and coping ability in prediabetic middle age and older adults. Improved mood and coping ability may allow prediabetic individuals to overcome the emotional obstacles preventing them from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and ultimately, help them to avoid the development of diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes in the Elderly)
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Open AccessArticle Naturalistic Driving: A Framework and Advances in Using Big Data
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
Driving is an activity that facilitates physical, cognitive, and social stimulation in older adults, ultimately leading to better physical and cognitive health. However, aging is associated with declines in vision, physical health, and cognitive health, all of which can affect driving ability. One
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Driving is an activity that facilitates physical, cognitive, and social stimulation in older adults, ultimately leading to better physical and cognitive health. However, aging is associated with declines in vision, physical health, and cognitive health, all of which can affect driving ability. One way of assessing driving ability is with the use of sensors in the older adult’s own vehicle. This paper provides a framework for driving assessment and addresses how naturalistic driving studies can assist in such assessments. The framework includes driving characteristics (how much driving, speed, position, type of road), actions and reactions (lane changes, intersections, passing, merging, traffic lights, pedestrians, other vehicles), destinations (variety and distance, sequencing and route planning), and driving conditions (time of day and season). Data from a subset of Ottawa drivers from the Candrive study is used to illustrate the use of naturalistic driving data. Challenges in using naturalistic driving big data and the changing technology in vehicles are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Prevalence of Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Acute Geriatric Patients
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated in many geriatric centers. The aim of this study is to explore the prevalence of OD in acute geriatric patients. The outcome was mortality during hospitalization, mortality, and rehospitalization within 0–30 and 31–180 days of discharge.
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Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated in many geriatric centers. The aim of this study is to explore the prevalence of OD in acute geriatric patients. The outcome was mortality during hospitalization, mortality, and rehospitalization within 0–30 and 31–180 days of discharge. A total of 313 consecutive acute geriatric patients (44.1% male, mean age 83.1 years (SD 7.8)) hospitalized from 1 March to 31 August 2016 in the North Denmark Regional Hospital were included in this study. The volume-viscosity swallow test and the Minimal Eating Observation Form-II were conducted for each patient in order to screen for OD. A total of 50% patients presented with OD. In the group of patients with OD, significantly more lived in nursing homes; had a lower weight, DEMMI score, and handgrip strength; and smaller circumference of arms and legs compared with non-dysphagia patients. Patients with OD presented an increased length of stay in hospital of one day (p = 0.70). Intra-hospital mortality was 5.8% vs. 0.7%, (p < 0.001) compared with patients with no symptoms of OD. OD is prevalent in acute geriatric patients, and the mortality is 34% within six months of hospitalization. Screening for OD should be given more attention and included in geriatric guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dysphagia in Older and Frail Adults)
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Open AccessReview Challenges for Older Drivers in Urban, Suburban, and Rural Settings
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 17 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Along with age-related factors, geographical settings—urban, suburban, and rural areas—also contribute to the differences in fatal crashes among older drivers. These differences in crash outcomes might be attributed to the various driving challenges faced by older drivers residing in different locations. To understand
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Along with age-related factors, geographical settings—urban, suburban, and rural areas—also contribute to the differences in fatal crashes among older drivers. These differences in crash outcomes might be attributed to the various driving challenges faced by older drivers residing in different locations. To understand these challenges from the perspective of the older driver, a focus group study was conducted with drivers 65 and older from urban, suburban, and rural settings. Guided-group interviews were used to assess driving challenges, mobility options, opportunities for driver support systems (DSS), and alternate transportation needs. Content analysis of the interview responses resulted in four categories representing common challenges faced by older drivers across the settings: behavior of other drivers on the road, placement of road signs, reduced visibility of road signs due to age-related decline, and difficulties using in-vehicle technologies. Six categories involved location-specific challenges such as heavy traffic situations for urban and suburban drivers, and multi-destination trips for rural drivers. Countermeasures implemented by older drivers to address these challenges primarily involved route selection and avoidance. Technological advances of DSS systems provide a unique opportunity to support the information needs for route selection and avoidance preferences of drivers. Using the content analysis results, a framework was built to determine additional and modified DSS features to meet the specific challenges of older drivers in urban, suburban, and rural settings. These findings suggest that there is heterogeneity in the driving challenges and preferences of older drivers based on their location. Consequently, DSS technologies and vehicle automation need to be tailored to not only meet the driving safety and mobility needs of older drivers as a population, but also to their driving environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Risky Driving Behaviors in the Naturalistic Environment in Healthy Older Adults and Mild Alzheimer’s Disease
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Analyzing naturalistic driving behavior recorded with in-car cameras is an ecologically valid method for measuring driving errors, but it is time intensive and not easily applied on a large scale. This study validated a semi-automated, computerized method using archival naturalistic driving data collected
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Analyzing naturalistic driving behavior recorded with in-car cameras is an ecologically valid method for measuring driving errors, but it is time intensive and not easily applied on a large scale. This study validated a semi-automated, computerized method using archival naturalistic driving data collected for drivers with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD; n = 44) and age-matched healthy controls (HC; n = 16). The computerized method flagged driving situations where safety concerns are most likely to occur (i.e., rapid stops, lane deviations, turns, and intersections). These driving epochs were manually reviewed and rated for error type and severity, if present. Ratings were made with a standardized scoring system adapted from DriveCam®. The top eight error types were applied as features to train a logistic model tree classifier to predict diagnostic group. The sensitivity and specificity were compared among the event-based method, on-road test, and composite ratings of two weeks of recorded driving. The logistic model derived from the event-based method had the best overall accuracy (91.7%) and sensitivity (97.7%) and high specificity (75.0%) compared to the other methods. Review of driving situations where risk is highest appears to be a sensitive data reduction method for detecting cognitive impairment associated driving behaviors and may be a more cost-effective method for analyzing large volumes of naturalistic data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving)
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