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Bettina van Hoven and Linden Douma

‘We Make Ourselves at Home Wherever We are’1-Older People's Placemaking in Newton Hall

The aim of this paper is to explore older in-migrants' experiences and perceptions of their spatial context at the neighbourhood level, the key aspects in their attachment to the neighbourhood, and the role of place in their experience of ageing. Our qualitative research was carried out in Newton Hall (United Kingdom). The findings show that older people can have a proactive role in terms of placemaking and their own wellbeing. However, the study also reveals that the condition of the spatial context can either support or hinder older people's sense of wellbeing.

Open access

Christa Lykke Christensen

Abstract

The media are, for many older people, one of the most important sources of information about health. In this article, I examine older people’s experiences and use of media to acquire knowledge about health issues relating to their own life. Key questions concern how media influence older people’s perceptions of health and to what extent they trust the media in relation to health issues. The study demonstrates that the media do not have a uniform influence among older people. For some, the media function as a guide to maintaining and experimenting with an active lifestyle in late life; for others, the media are met with a skeptical attitude as they are not trusted as a source of reliable and unequivocal information on health issues. The study is based on a qualitative interview study with men and women between 65 and 86 years.

Open access

Katarzyna Skałacka and Romuald Derbis

Abstract

Successful aging (Rowe & Kahn, 1997) is conditioned by aspiration to be active and by the ability to maintain social relations. Activity improves the emotional lives of seniors and is associated with a reduction of some symptoms of aging. Our study verifies if the number of activities (informal and solitary) is associated with quality of life and whether subjective age may be a mediator of this relationship. The 136 seniors above 60 were tested by our authorial scale of activity and the WHOQOL-BRIEF. The results showed that older persons’ higher quality of life levels are related not only to the number of activities undertaken, but also to the frequency that these activities are engaged in. The mediating role of subjective age in relation to one’s activities and quality of life was also indicated, which, concerning general quality of life, turned out to be a cooperative suppression.

Open access

Andrej Srakar, Rok Hren and Valentina Prevolnik Rupel

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Chronic diseases and associated co-morbidities are highly prevalent among elderly and are associated with an increase in health services utilization which in turn raises health care expenditures throughout industrialized societies. However, health care utilization in elderly is still inadequately understood, particularly regarding the differences among European jurisdictions. In our article, we use dataset of Wave 5 of SHARE survey to study the utilization of health care in older Europeans in 15 European countries.

Design/Methodology/Approach: We investigate relationships between factors such as age, gender, income, education and health variables and the utilization of various types of health services. We apply regression modeling to study the determinants of health utilization (different socioeconomic and health variables) of older people.

Results: We show some significant differences between determinants of health utilization in terms of probability and frequency of usage. We also explore patterns between welfare regimes, taking Eastern European jurisdictions as a reference category. Finally, we show that in a simple causal model the provision of formal and/or informal homecare serves as a complement to utilization of health care services.

Conclusion: Results of our article are important for the management of health care facilities in terms of health care usage by older people, and can be of value to health care providers and policy makers in the field.

Open access

Anna Ogonowska-Słodownik, Eliza Maria Bober and Bartosz Molik

Abstract

Introduction: Physical activity is one of the basic elements that affect functional performance and body composition. The age may result in adverse changes in these parameters. The study aimed to compare the functional fitness and body composition in physically active women over 60 years old in different age groups and determine the relationship between those two components.

Material and methods: The study participants attended gymnastic classes at the University of Third Age of Warsaw University of Technology. A total of 39 women were examined in three age categories - 60-64 years (13 women), 65-69 years (13 women), 70-74 years (13 women). The study used the Senior Fitness Test (SFT) to assess functional fitness. Body composition was tested using a device Tanita BC 420.

Results: Statistical analysis showed no statistically significant (p≤0.05) differences in functional fitness and body composition between women of different age groups. A statistically significant negative correlation was found for Back Scratch test with BMI and percentage of body fat and a positive with muscle mass. Additionally, 8-ft up-and-go test positively correlated with BMI and percentage of body fat and negatively with muscle mass.

Conclusions: Regular physical activity allows to maintain the level of functional fitness in older women. Element requiring additional commitment are flexibility exercises. The study confirmed the relationship between body composition and functional fitness of older women.

Open access

Jana Goriup, Branka Čagran and Katja Krošl

Abstract

The article discusses education of older people for combating their loneliness, the reasons for it, and its consequences. The current theoretical findings were the reason for the empirical study of the research problem by the authors. In the empirical part, some aspects of the life of older people regarding their residences were compared: among older people living with their relatives, alone, with a partner, or in a retirement home, with special regard to the reasons/causes for residence, and the feeling of loneliness and contacts with relatives. The obtained empirical results showed that older people living alone or in a retirement home are in a worse position compared to those living with relatives or with a partner. The most at risk are older people living alone.

Open access

Valentina Hlebec

Abstract

Theory. Social homecare is important for older people, as it enables them to remain in their own homes during worsening health, thus relieving the burden on institutional facilities such as homes for the elderly or nursing homes and hospitals.

Method. A representative survey of social homecare users was employed to assess determinants of the scope of social homecare in Slovenia. Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate determinants defined by Andersen’s behavioral model that affect the scope of social homecare.

Results. As expected, need (Functional impairment B = .378, P = 0.000) was the most important explanatory component, followed by availability of informal care network (Lives alone B = -.136, P = 0.000; Has children B = - .142; P = 0.000) and other contextual factors such as total costs of the services (B = -.075; P = 0.003) and temporal availability of services (B=-.075, P=0.012). The model explained 18% of variability in the scope of social homecare.

Conclusion. This study showed that data on the individual level, as opposed to data on an aggregated level, show different determinants of social homecare utilization. Moreover, the results showed that social homecare is especially important in two circumstances: when older people have a high level of need and when they do not have access to informal care networks. Contextual factors had a moderate effect on the scope of social homecare, which shows universal access to the latter at the individual level.

Open access

Successful Images of Successful Ageing?

Representations of Vigorous Elderly People in a Swedish Educational Television Programme

Kristina Wallander

Abstract

The dominant discourse concerning older people used to be one of decline and loss. Lately, however, representations of old age have tended to be more diverse and two paradigms have been introduced - one framing enfeeblement and one framing new, positive roles for older people, conceptualized as successful ageing. The present article demonstrates how representations of vigorous elderly people are construed in the programme VeteranTV, produced by UR, Swedish educational television. Part of the aim of VeteranTV was to enhance the image of life after 65 in an anti-ageist spirit. The article discusses the images of vigorous elderly people with respect to their emphasis on sameness or difference, their age-coding, the discourses and subject positions emphasized in them, and not least, their possible ageism.

Open access

Valentina Hlebec

Kontekstualni Dejavniki Uporabe Oskrbe Na Domu V Sloveniji

Uvod: Andersenov behavioralni model za pojasnjevanje uporabe storitev zdravstvenega sistema se uporablja tudi za pojasnjevanje uporabe storitev oskrbe na domu in drugih storitev oskrbe, ki so v domeni skupnosti. V model so vključeni dispozicijski in kontekstualni dejavniki (družinski in skupnostni) ter potreba po storitvah. V prispevku bomo obravnavali skupnostne kontekstualne dejavnike in njihov vpliv na uporabo storitev oskrbe na domu.

Metode: V prispevku je uporabljena multipla klasifikacijska analiza na ravni občin. Odvisna spremenljivka je število uporabnikov oskrbe na domu glede na 1.000 prebivalcev v občini (oboje 65+). V model je vključenih več kontekstualnih spremenljivk, ki opisujejo značilnosti lokalnih skupnosti (občin) in prebivalcev.

Rezultati: Kontekstualni dejavniki pojasnjujejo 13% variabilnosti števila uporabnikov oskrbe na domu. Uporabnikov je sorazmerno več v urbanih občinah, občinah z manjšo gostoto prebivalstva, v občinah z večjim deležem študentov in delovno aktivnih prebivalcev. Organizacijski dejavniki (cena storitev za uporabnika in ponudba oskrbe ob popoldnevih, koncih tedna in ob praznikih) nimajo statistično značilnega vpliva na število uporabnikov oskrbe na domu, prav tako ne delež prejemnikov denarnih socialnih pomoči.

Zaključek: Raziskava uporabe oskrbe na domu na sekundarnih agregiranih podatkih na ravni občin je dala zanimive, a omejene rezultate. Nepričakovane in statistično neznačilne povezave je mogoče pripisati sorazmerni novosti programa oskrbe na domu. Izpostavljamo tudi nujnost raziskovanja oskrbe na domu na individualni ravni oziroma ravni uporabnikov.

Open access

Bogusława Urbaniak and Justyna Wiktorowicz

Abstract

The article aims to assess some selected solutions of the Polish government’s programme “Solidarity of generations” [SG] designed to support economic activity among people aged 50+. It presents the results of a national survey conducted in the first half of 2012, mainly the outcomes of questionnaire interviews carried out with representative samples of people aged 45+ and employers. Studies under the name ‘Diagnosis of the current situation of females and males 50+ on the labour market in Poland [D50+]’ were conducted within the project “Equal Opportunities in the Labour Market for People Aged 50+”. In addition to standard methods of descriptive analysis and the assessment of relations, factor analysis is also used to identify the main types of activities advancing opportunities for people aged 45+. Some solutions of the government’s programme, such as the protection of employees from dismissal during the last four years before their retirement, were sometimes evaluated very differently by employers and people aged 45+. At the same time, both employers and people aged 45+ were favourable about free training and public subsidies to set up jobs for an unemployed persons aged 50+. According to the factor analysis results, the most important activities for people aged 45+ to have equal opportunities in the labour market are those activities that directly improve their qualifications. Although this finding is endorsed by both employers and people aged 45+, the insufficient systemic support for life-long learning limits the number of opportunities they could use to increase their employment activity. The variety of evaluations presented by the beneficiaries of the government programme should be taken into account in planning its modification.