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Geriatrics, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 29 articles

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Article
Leveraging National Nursing Home Huddles for Rapid COVID-19 Response
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020062 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1240
Abstract
A disproportionate number of older adult residents of U.S. nursing homes have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. The novelty of the virus spurred frequently changing guidance as nursing facilities navigated response efforts. In May 2020, the 6-month COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing [...] Read more.
A disproportionate number of older adult residents of U.S. nursing homes have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. The novelty of the virus spurred frequently changing guidance as nursing facilities navigated response efforts. In May 2020, the 6-month COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes (RRN) was launched to leverage the concept of huddles across U.S. nursing homes to reduce COVID-19-related morbidity, mortality, and transmission by identifying best practices to rapidly implement, fostering connections between nursing homes, and refocusing the national narrative on optimism for nursing home care response efforts. Daily 20-min huddles transitioned to twice weekly in the program’s final two months. A total of 93 huddles featured 103 speakers with 1960 participants engaging in both live huddles and asynchronous learning. 90.33% of participants said they learned at least two new ideas by participating and 89.17% strongly agreed or agreed that participating improved their ability to lead change in their organization. Qualitative data echoed gratitude for a centralized source of information and best practices and the sense of positivity and community the RRN provided. Leveraging nursing home huddles at the national, regional, local, system, or facility level may serve as a guidepost for future pandemics or work where guidance is new or quickly evolving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responding to the Pandemic: Geriatric Care Models)
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Article
Palatability and Swallowability of Pimavanserin When Mixed with Selected Food Vehicles: An Exploratory Open-Label Crossover Study
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020061 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) affects up to 13% of persons 65 years and older and 51% of older persons in nursing homes and can contribute to reduced adherence to oral medications. This was an exploratory, single-center, open-label, randomized, crossover study in healthy older adult [...] Read more.
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) affects up to 13% of persons 65 years and older and 51% of older persons in nursing homes and can contribute to reduced adherence to oral medications. This was an exploratory, single-center, open-label, randomized, crossover study in healthy older adult participants. Primary objectives were evaluation of palatability (taste) and swallowability of the contents of pimavanserin 34 mg capsules mixed with selected soft foods or a liquid nutritional supplement. Secondary objectives included evaluation of additional palatability endpoints and ease of capsule manipulation for mixing. A total of 18 healthy, older adult participants (mean age 65 years) were included. Mean participant ratings for all food vehicles were “moderately like” to “neither like nor dislike” for palatability and “very easy” to “somewhat easy” for swallowability. Capsule manipulation to allow sprinkling of contents was rated “very easy” or “somewhat easy” by most participants. There were five treatment-emergent adverse events, all mild; two were deemed related to study treatment. The palatability and swallowability of pimavanserin was considered acceptable when administered with certain soft foods or a liquid nutritional supplement by the study participants. Full article
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Review
LGBTQ+ Aging Research in Canada: A 30-Year Scoping Review of the Literature
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020060 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Canada has a unique socio-political history concerning the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. With aging populations, understanding diverse groups of older adults is paramount. We completed a systematic search and scoping review of research in Canada to quantify [...] Read more.
Canada has a unique socio-political history concerning the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. With aging populations, understanding diverse groups of older adults is paramount. We completed a systematic search and scoping review of research in Canada to quantify and articulate the scale and scope of research on LGBTQ+ aging. Our search identified over 4000 results and, after screening for relevance, our review focused on 70 articles. Five major themes in the literature on LGBTQ+ aging in Canada were identified: (1) risk, (2) HIV, (3) stigma, and discrimination as barriers to care, (4) navigating care and identity, (5) documenting the history and changing policy landscapes. Most of the articles were not focused on the aging, yet the findings are relevant when considering the lived experiences of current older adults within LGBTQ+ communities. Advancing the evidence on LGBTQ+ aging involves improving the quality of life and aging experiences for LGBTQ+ older adults through research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Article
Comprehensive Care through Family Medicine: Improving the Sustainability of Aging Societies
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020059 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Comprehensive care through family medicine can enhance the approach to multimorbidity, interprofessional collaboration, and community care, and make medical care more sustainable for older people. This study investigated the effect of implementing family medicine and the comprehensiveness of medical care in one of [...] Read more.
Comprehensive care through family medicine can enhance the approach to multimorbidity, interprofessional collaboration, and community care, and make medical care more sustainable for older people. This study investigated the effect of implementing family medicine and the comprehensiveness of medical care in one of the most rural communities. This implementation research used medical care data from April 2015 to March 2020. Patients’ diagnoses were categorized according to the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). In 2016, family medicine was implemented in only one general hospital in Unnan. The comprehensiveness rate improved in all ICD-10 disease categories during the study period, especially in the following categories—infections; neoplasms; endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases; mental disorders; nervous system; circulatory system; respiratory system; digestive system; skin and subcutaneous tissue; musculoskeletal system and connective tissue; and the genitourinary system. Implementing family medicine in rural Japanese communities can improve the comprehensiveness of medical care and resolve the issue of fragmentation of care by improving interprofessional collaboration and community care. It can be a solution for the aging of both patient and healthcare professionals. Future research can investigate the relationship between family medicine and patient health outcomes for improved healthcare sustainability. Full article
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Review
Virtual Reality Therapy for Depression and Mood in Long-Term Care Facilities
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020058 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 924
Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) describes a family of technologies which immerse users in sensorily-stimulating virtual environments. Such technologies have increasingly found applications in the treatment of neurological and mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety, and other mood abnormalities are of concern in the growing older [...] Read more.
Virtual reality (VR) describes a family of technologies which immerse users in sensorily-stimulating virtual environments. Such technologies have increasingly found applications in the treatment of neurological and mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety, and other mood abnormalities are of concern in the growing older population—especially those who reside in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). The transition from the familiar home environment to the foreign LTCF introduces a number of stressors that can precipitate depression. However, recent studies reveal that VR therapy (VRT) can promote positive emotionality and improve cognitive abilities in older people, both at home and in LTCFs. VR thus holds potential in allowing older individuals to gradually adapt to their new environments—thereby mitigating the detrimental effects of place attachment and social exclusion. Nevertheless, while the current psychological literature is promising, the implementation of VR in LTCFs faces many challenges. LTCF residents must gain trust in VR technologies, care providers require training to maximize the positive effects of VRT, and decision makers must evaluate both the opportunities and obstacles in adopting VR. In this review article, we concisely discuss the implications of depression related to place attachment in LTCFs, and explore the potential therapeutic applications of VR. Full article
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Project Report
Sustaining or Declining Physical Activity: Reports from an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Older Adults
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020057 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Over 80% of adults in the US fail to meet the ≥150 min weekly physical activity guideline; 40% age ≥ 75 are entirely inactive. The study purpose was to understand the reasons why community-dwelling older adults (age ≥ 60) from diverse backgrounds increase, [...] Read more.
Over 80% of adults in the US fail to meet the ≥150 min weekly physical activity guideline; 40% age ≥ 75 are entirely inactive. The study purpose was to understand the reasons why community-dwelling older adults (age ≥ 60) from diverse backgrounds increase, sustain, or decline in their physical activity levels over time. Sixty-two older adults were interviewed. Two-thirds of the African Americans, 57% of the Afro-Caribbeans, and 50% of the European Americans reported being less active than 2–3 years ago. Reasons for activity decline included health issues (e.g., pain, shortness of breath), lack of time, interest, or motivation. Reasons for sustaining or increasing activity levels included meeting personal goals, having a purpose for remaining active, or feeling better when active (e.g., it is important to keep moving, good for the joints, going on a cruise). Themes identified were pride in maintaining activity, goal-driven activity, pushing oneself to get past pain or fatigue, and some confusion between social and physical activity in participant reports. The results indicate widespread acceptance that activity is beneficial, but that knowledge alone was insufficient to maintain activity levels over time unless individuals had a goal or purpose (“means to an end”) and could overcome their physical and psychological barriers to physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Addendum
Addendum: Ishida et al. Formula for the Cross-Sectional Area of the Muscles of the Third Lumbar Vertebra Level from the Twelfth Thoracic Vertebra Level Slice on Computed Tomography. Geriatrics 2020, 5, 47
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020056 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 791
Abstract
The authors would like to make an addendum to their published paper [...] Full article
Review
Interventions for Nursing Home Residents with Dysphagia—A Scoping Review
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020055 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is common in nursing home residents. The objective of this scoping review was to summarize and disseminate the findings from the literature on interventions for dysphagia in nursing home residents. Searches were conducted in four databases. The criteria for including the [...] Read more.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is common in nursing home residents. The objective of this scoping review was to summarize and disseminate the findings from the literature on interventions for dysphagia in nursing home residents. Searches were conducted in four databases. The criteria for including the studies were nursing home residents, dysphagia, interventions, original research, published in English, Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish with no restriction placed regarding publication date. Excluded were literature reviews, editorial comments, conference abstracts, protocols, papers not available in full text, and studies with a mixed population, for example, geriatric patients and nursing home residents and where the results were not separated between the groups. A total of 14 papers were included and analyzed. The included papers represented interventions focusing on feeding intervention, oral hygiene, caregiver algorithm, stimulation (taste and smell), teaching the residents what to eat, mobilization of the spine, exercises/training, and positioning. This scoping review identifies sparse knowledge about interventions affecting nursing home residents’ dysphagia. But the results indicate that multi-component interventions, including staff training, training of residents, and/or next of kin, might be successful. This scoping review clarifies that there is a need for well-designed studies that uncover which specific interventions have an effect in relation to nursing home residents with dysphagia and can serve as a guide for designing multi-component person-centered intervention studies. Future studies should implement high evidence study designs, define the measures of dysphagia, and quantify the severity of dysphagia, its underlying diseases, and comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Nutrition)
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Article
Feasibility and Adoption of a Focused Digital Wellness Program in Older Adults
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020054 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
Digital health programs offer numerous psychological and physical health benefits. To date, digital programs have been aimed broadly at younger participants, yet older individuals may also benefit. Our study sought to demonstrate user feasibility and satisfaction in a digital wellness program for older [...] Read more.
Digital health programs offer numerous psychological and physical health benefits. To date, digital programs have been aimed broadly at younger participants, yet older individuals may also benefit. Our study sought to demonstrate user feasibility and satisfaction in a digital wellness program for older adults. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 140 participants in a digital health wellness application that integrated guided exercises, nutrition planning and health education. Primary outcomes were active participant retention, engagement in the mobile program and user satisfaction as operationalized by NPS scores. Among 140 participants, median age was 59.82 (50–80), 61% female, in a sample taken in the United States. Engagement was high and sustained, with more than 65% participants engaged, operationalized as at least completing one task activity a month over 17 weeks. Participants were also satisfied with the program, reporting NPS scores of 43 on day 30 of the program. Secondary health outcomes included 3.44 pound weight change during the first month. User feasibility and satisfaction was demonstrated in a sample of older participants for this novel digital health wellness program. Future work focused on older adult users may result in improvements in patient health outcomes and improved preventive medicine strategies. Full article
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Article
Body Weight, BMI, Percent Fat and Associations with Mortality and Incident Mobility Limitation in Older Men
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020053 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
How different measures of adiposity are similarly or differentially related to mobility limitation and mortality is not clear. In total, 5849 community-dwelling men aged ≥65 years (mean age: 72 years) were followed mortality over 10 years and self-reported mobility limitations (any difficulty walking [...] Read more.
How different measures of adiposity are similarly or differentially related to mobility limitation and mortality is not clear. In total, 5849 community-dwelling men aged ≥65 years (mean age: 72 years) were followed mortality over 10 years and self-reported mobility limitations (any difficulty walking 2–3 blocks or with climbing 10 steps) at six contacts over 14 years. Baseline measures of adiposity included weight, BMI and percent fat by DXA. Appendicular lean mass (ALM, by DXA) was analyzed as ALM/ht2. Proportional hazards models estimated the risk of mortality, and repeated measures generalized estimating equations estimated the likelihood of mobility limitation. Over 10 years, 27.9% of men died; over 14 years, 48.0% of men reported at least one mobility limitation. We observed U-shaped relationships between weight, BMI, percent fat and ALM/ht2 with mortality. There was a clear log-linear relationship between weight, BMI and percent fat with incident mobility limitation, with higher values associated with a greater likelihood of mobility limitation. In contrast, there was a U-shaped relationship between ALM/ht2 and incident mobility limitation. These observational data suggest that no single measure of adiposity or body composition reflects both the lowest risk of mortality and the lowest likelihood for developing mobility limitation in older men. Full article
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Review
COVID-19 Era Social Isolation among Older Adults
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020052 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 935
Abstract
Risk of COVID-19 exposure and more severe illness are serious concerns for older adults. Social distancing has worsened existing social isolation, with severe impacts on connectedness among seniors. The pandemic is threatening to cause an extended health crisis, with impacts including serious health [...] Read more.
Risk of COVID-19 exposure and more severe illness are serious concerns for older adults. Social distancing has worsened existing social isolation, with severe impacts on connectedness among seniors. The pandemic is threatening to cause an extended health crisis, with impacts including serious health consequences. Our primary purpose is to summarize emerging research describing the impacts of the pandemic on social isolation among older adults. A streamlined search was conducted to fit the scope of this literature review. Common research databases and mainstream resources and websites were utilized to identify research published or released in 2020 to align with the pandemic. Early research indicates that the pandemic has worsened social isolation among older adults. Social isolation has become urgent, as seniors have lost their usual connections due to social distancing. While safety measures are critical to prevent virus exposure, this approach must be balanced with maintaining social connectedness. The pandemic highlights the importance of social connections, with significant impacts on both community-living older adults and those in nursing facilities. Safety protocols have created a paradox of reduced risk along with greater harm. Consequently, adapted approaches are urgently needed to address the consequences of a long-term social recession. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responding to the Pandemic: Geriatric Care Models)
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Article
I-CARE-An Interaction System for the Individual Activation of People with Dementia
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020051 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 686
Abstract
I-CARE is a hand-held activation system that allows professional and informal caregivers to cognitively and socially activate people with dementia in joint activation sessions without special training or expertise. I-CARE consists of an easy-to-use tablet application that presents activation content and a server-based [...] Read more.
I-CARE is a hand-held activation system that allows professional and informal caregivers to cognitively and socially activate people with dementia in joint activation sessions without special training or expertise. I-CARE consists of an easy-to-use tablet application that presents activation content and a server-based backend system that securely manages the contents and events of activation sessions. It tracks various sources of explicit and implicit feedback from user interactions and different sensors to estimate which content is successful in activating individual users. Over the course of use, I-CARE’s recommendation system learns about the individual needs and resources of its users and automatically personalizes the activation content. In addition, information about past sessions can be retrieved such that activations seamlessly build on previous sessions while eligible stakeholders are informed about the current state of care and daily form of their protegees. In addition, caregivers can connect with supervisors and professionals through the I-CARE remote calling feature, to get activation sessions tracked in real time via audio and video support. In this way, I-CARE provides technical support for a decentralized and spontaneous formation of ad hoc activation groups and fosters tight engagement of the social network and caring community. By these means, I-CARE promotes new care infrastructures in the community and the neighborhood as well as relieves professional and informal caregivers. Full article
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Article
Eight Orthostatic Haemodynamic Patterns in The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA): Stability and Clinical Associations after 4 Years
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020050 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Previous research cross-sectionally characterised eight morphological systolic blood pressure (SBP) active stand (AS) patterns using a clinical clustering approach at Wave 1 (W1) of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. We explored the longitudinal stability and clinical associations of these groupings at Wave [...] Read more.
Previous research cross-sectionally characterised eight morphological systolic blood pressure (SBP) active stand (AS) patterns using a clinical clustering approach at Wave 1 (W1) of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. We explored the longitudinal stability and clinical associations of these groupings at Wave 3 (W3), four years later. Eight AS groups had their clinical characteristics and AS patterns at W3 compared to W1. We explored longitudinal associations (new cognitive decline, falls, syncope, disability, and mortality) using multivariate logistic regression models. In total, 2938 participants (60% of Wave 1 sample) had adequate AS data from both W1 and 3 for analysis. We found no longitudinal stability of the eight AS groups or their morphological patterns between the waves. A pattern of impaired stabilisation and late deficit seemed more preserved and was seen in association with new cognitive decline (OR 1.63, 95% CI: 1.12–2.36, p = 0.011). An increase in antihypertensive usage seemed associated with reduced immediate SBP drops, improved AS patterns, and reduced orthostatic intolerance (OI). In pure longitudinal groups, AS patterns were not preserved after 4 years. AS patterns are longitudinally dynamic, and improvements after 4 years are possible even in the presence of higher antihypertensive burden. Full article
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Article
Episode-of-Care Costs for Revision Total Joint Arthroplasties by Decadal Age Groups
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020049 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 627
Abstract
The demand for revision total joint arthroplasties (rTJAs) is expected to increase as the age of the population continues to rise. Accurate cost data regarding hospital expenses for differing age groups are needed to deliver optimal care within value-based healthcare (VBHC) models. The [...] Read more.
The demand for revision total joint arthroplasties (rTJAs) is expected to increase as the age of the population continues to rise. Accurate cost data regarding hospital expenses for differing age groups are needed to deliver optimal care within value-based healthcare (VBHC) models. The aim of this study was to compare the total in-hospital costs by decadal groups following rTJA and to determine the primary drivers of the costs for these procedures. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) was used to capture granular hospital costs. A total of 551 rTJAs were included in the study, with 294 sexagenarians, 198 septuagenarians, and 59 octogenarians and older. Sexagenarians had a lower ASA classification (2.3 vs. 2.4 and 2.7; p < 0.0001) and were more often privately insured (66.7% vs. 24.2% and 33.9%; p < 0.0001) as compared to septuagenarians and octogenarians and older, respectively. Sexagenarians were discharged to home at a higher rate (85.3% vs. 68.3% and 34.3%; p < 0.0001), experienced a longer operating room (OR) time (199.8 min vs. 189.7 min and 172.3 min; p = 0.0195), and had a differing overall hospital length of stay (2.8 days vs. 2.7 days and 3.6 days; p = 0.0086) compared to septuagenarians and octogenarians and older, respectively. Sexagenarians had 7% and 23% less expensive personnel costs from post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) to discharge (p < 0.0001), and 1% and 24% more expensive implant costs (p = 0.077) compared to septuagenarians and octogenarians and older, respectively. Sexagenarians had a lower total in-hospital cost for rTJAs by 0.9% compared to septuagenarians but 12% more expensive total in-hospital costs compared to octogenarians and older (p = 0.185). Multivariate linear regression showed that the implant cost (0.88389; p < 0.0001), OR time (0.12140; p < 0.0001), personnel cost from PACU through to discharge (0.11472; p = 0.0007), and rTHAs (−0.03058; p < 0.0001) to be the strongest associations with overall costs. Focusing on the implant costs and OR times to reduce costs for all age groups for rTJAs is important to provide cost-effective VBHC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Joint Arthroplasty in the Oldest People)
Article
Reducing Morbidity and Mortality Rates from COVID-19, Influenza and Pneumococcal Illness in Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities by Vaccination and Comprehensive Infection Control Interventions
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020048 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 869
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic identifies the problems of preventing respiratory illnesses in seniors, especially frail multimorbidity seniors in nursing homes and Long-Term Care Facilities (LCTFs). Medline and Embase were searched for nursing homes, long-term care facilities, respiratory tract infections, disease transmission, infection control, mortality, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic identifies the problems of preventing respiratory illnesses in seniors, especially frail multimorbidity seniors in nursing homes and Long-Term Care Facilities (LCTFs). Medline and Embase were searched for nursing homes, long-term care facilities, respiratory tract infections, disease transmission, infection control, mortality, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. For seniors, there is strong evidence to vaccinate against influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and pneumococcal disease, and evidence is awaited for effectiveness against COVID-19 variants and when to revaccinate. There is strong evidence to promptly introduce comprehensive infection control interventions in LCFTs: no admissions from inpatient wards with COVID-19 patients; quarantine and monitor new admissions in single-patient rooms; screen residents, staff and visitors daily for temperature and symptoms; and staff work in only one home. Depending on the vaccination situation and the current risk situation, visiting restrictions and meals in the residents’ own rooms may be necessary, and reduce crowding with individual patient rooms. Regional LTCF administrators should closely monitor and provide staff and PPE resources. The CDC COVID-19 tool measures 33 infection control indicators. Hand washing, social distancing, PPE (gowns, gloves, masks, eye protection), enhanced cleaning of rooms and high-touch surfaces need comprehensive implementation while awaiting more studies at low risk of bias. Individual ventilation with HEPA filters for all patient and common rooms and hallways is needed. Full article
Article
Older Adult Willingness to Use Fully Autonomous Vehicle (FAV) Ride Sharing
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020047 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
In the United States, older adults (age 65 and older) rely on private automobiles for transportation. For those who stop driving, access to alternative modes of transportation is important for health, wellbeing, mobility, and independence. This paper explores older adult willingness to use [...] Read more.
In the United States, older adults (age 65 and older) rely on private automobiles for transportation. For those who stop driving, access to alternative modes of transportation is important for health, wellbeing, mobility, and independence. This paper explores older adult willingness to use fully autonomous vehicle (FAV) ride sharing and the features or services of FAV ride sharing that would make them willing to take a ride. These data were gathered as part of a larger qualitative research study designed to explore the factors affecting older adult use of ride share services. For the larger study, we conducted 68 telephone interviews with older adults, and 10 in-person focus groups with 56 older adults, including individuals who both used and never used ride share services. We used a convenience sample recruited by study partners, including ride share and transportation services and a recruitment firm. The predominant thematic findings of the qualitative analysis included a desire for a proven safety record in terms of performance and technology, followed by dependability and accuracy of FAV ride sharing. Older adults’ concerns about FAV ride sharing included safety concerns and preferences for social interaction with drivers. Ride share services that use FAVs in the future may need to tailor transportation offerings for older adults to increase their willingness to use FAVS to support their mobility and social needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Driving, Aging, Safety and Health)
Article
Dysphagia Prevalence, Time Course, and Association with Probable Sarcopenia, Inactivity, Malnutrition, and Disease Status in Older Patients Admitted to an Emergency Department: A Secondary Analysis of Cohort Study Data
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020046 - 26 Apr 2021
Viewed by 969
Abstract
There is evolving evidence for an association between dysphagia and sarcopenia in older adults. For optimizing the acute health care initiative across health care settings, this study investigated prevalence and time-course of dysphagia in older patients admitted to an emergency department (ED) as [...] Read more.
There is evolving evidence for an association between dysphagia and sarcopenia in older adults. For optimizing the acute health care initiative across health care settings, this study investigated prevalence and time-course of dysphagia in older patients admitted to an emergency department (ED) as well as its association with parameters for probable sarcopenia, inactivity, malnutrition, disease status, and systemic inflammation. A secondary analysis of data from the FAM-CPH cohort study on acutely admitted older medical patients (n = 125). Data were collected upon ED admission as well as four and 56 weeks after discharge. Using the Eating Assessment Tool cut-off score ≥ 2, signs of dysphagia were present in 34% of the patients at ED admission and persisted in 25% of the patients 56 weeks after discharge. Signs of dysphagia at 56-week follow-up were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with probable sarcopenia (low handgrip strength (OR = 3.79), low leg muscle strength (OR = 8.14), and low physical performance (OR = 5.68)) and with baseline swallowing inactivity (OR = 5.61), malnutrition (OR = 4.35), and systemic inflammation (OR = 1.33). Signs of dysphagia in older patients admitted to an ED was prevalent, persisted 56 weeks after discharge, and was associated with probable sarcopenia and related conditions; all modifiable targets for management of dysphagia in older patients. Full article
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Article
Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Predict Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: Preliminary Findings from the Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) Study
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020045 - 23 Apr 2021
Viewed by 6615
Abstract
Emerging evidence suggests that atypical changes in driving behaviors may be early signals of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. This study aims to assess the utility of naturalistic driving data and machine learning techniques in predicting incident MCI and dementia in older [...] Read more.
Emerging evidence suggests that atypical changes in driving behaviors may be early signals of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. This study aims to assess the utility of naturalistic driving data and machine learning techniques in predicting incident MCI and dementia in older adults. Monthly driving data captured by in-vehicle recording devices for up to 45 months from 2977 participants of the Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers study were processed to generate 29 variables measuring driving behaviors, space and performance. Incident MCI and dementia cases (n = 64) were ascertained from medical record reviews and annual interviews. Random forests were used to classify the participant MCI/dementia status during the follow-up. The F1 score of random forests in discriminating MCI/dementia status was 29% based on demographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity and education) only, 66% based on driving variables only, and 88% based on demographic characteristics and driving variables. Feature importance analysis revealed that age was most predictive of MCI and dementia, followed by the percentage of trips traveled within 15 miles of home, race/ethnicity, minutes per trip chain (i.e., length of trips starting and ending at home), minutes per trip, and number of hard braking events with deceleration rates ≥ 0.35 g. If validated, the algorithms developed in this study could provide a novel tool for early detection and management of MCI and dementia in older drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Driving, Aging, Safety and Health)
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Article
Palliative Care in Advanced Dementia: Comparison of Strategies in Three Countries
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020044 - 22 Apr 2021
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Palliative care including hospice care is appropriate for advanced dementia, but policy initiatives and implementation have lagged, while treatment may vary. We compare care for people with advanced dementia in the United States (US), The Netherlands, and Israel. We conducted a narrative literature [...] Read more.
Palliative care including hospice care is appropriate for advanced dementia, but policy initiatives and implementation have lagged, while treatment may vary. We compare care for people with advanced dementia in the United States (US), The Netherlands, and Israel. We conducted a narrative literature review and expert physician consultation around a case scenario focusing on three domains in the care of people with advanced dementia: (1) place of residence, (2) access to palliative care, and (3) treatment. We found that most people with advanced dementia live in nursing homes in the US and The Netherlands, and in the community in Israel. Access to specialist palliative and hospice care is improving in the US but is limited in The Netherlands and Israel. The two data sources consistently showed that treatment varies considerably between countries with, for example, artificial nutrition and hydration differing by state in the US, strongly discouraged in The Netherlands, and widely used in Israel. We conclude that care in each country has positive elements: hospice availability in the US, the general palliative approach in The Netherlands, and home care in Israel. National Dementia Plans should include policy regarding palliative care, and public and professional awareness must be increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health: Law and Ethics)
Article
Influence of Social and Demographic Factors on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) Test in Rural Population of North-Eastern Greece
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020043 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 770
Abstract
The current study aims to investigate the influence of socio-demographic factors on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test results in a Greek-speaking population consisting of a sample of healthy older adults, individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia patients in rural areas. [...] Read more.
The current study aims to investigate the influence of socio-demographic factors on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test results in a Greek-speaking population consisting of a sample of healthy older adults, individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia patients in rural areas. In addition, the current research focuses on determining optimal cut-off scores for the clinical diagnoses of MCI and dementia. The data originated from 283 participants in an ongoing registry of the Neurology Department of Alexandroupolis University Hospital, recruited in different rural districts of north-eastern Greece, across a broad range of educational and occupational categories. Total and sub-domain scores for the MoCA varied significantly, according to sex, age, and education, among the three study groups. The optimal cut-off points of 25/26 for the MoCA total score was determined to classify healthy subjects from individuals with MCI, 24 to discriminate healthy participants from demented, and 21/22 to discriminate subjects with MCI from dementia. Overall, the clinical use of the MoCA test can be supported by demographically adjusted standard scores in a Greek-speaking rural population. These findings serve to improve the diagnostic accuracy and utility of the MoCA test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychology)
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Commentary
Anti-Cancer Treatment Strategies in the Older Population: Time to Test More?
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020042 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Aging is a well-recognized risk factor for the development of cancer. The incidence of new cancer diagnoses has increased globally given the rising senior population. Many hypotheses for this increased risk have been postulated over decades, including increased genetic and epigenetic mutations and [...] Read more.
Aging is a well-recognized risk factor for the development of cancer. The incidence of new cancer diagnoses has increased globally given the rising senior population. Many hypotheses for this increased risk have been postulated over decades, including increased genetic and epigenetic mutations and the concept of immunosenescence. The optimal treatment strategies for this population with cancer are unclear. Older cancer patients are traditionally under-represented in clinical trials developed to set the standard of care, leading to undertreatment or increased toxicity. With this background, it is crucial to investigate new opportunities that belong to the most recent findings of an anti-cancer agent, such as immune-checkpoint inhibitors, to manage these daily clinical issues and eventually combine them with alternative administration strategies of antiblastic drugs such as metronomic chemotherapy. Full article
Article
The Association between Poor Diet Quality, Physical Fatigability and Physical Function in the Oldest-Old from the Geisinger Rural Aging Study
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020041 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
More perceived physical fatigability and poor diet quality are associated with impairments in physical function in older adults. However, the degree to which more perceived fatigability explains the association between poor diet quality and low physical function is unknown. We examined this relationship [...] Read more.
More perceived physical fatigability and poor diet quality are associated with impairments in physical function in older adults. However, the degree to which more perceived fatigability explains the association between poor diet quality and low physical function is unknown. We examined this relationship in 122 (66F, 56M) of the oldest-old participants from the Geisinger Rural Aging Study (GRAS). We used 24-h dietary recalls to assess the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale (PFS, 0–50) to assess perceived physical fatigability, and the PROMIS Physical Function 20a* to assess physical function. We grouped participants into three age categories: 80–84 (n = 51), 85–89 (n = 51), and 90+ (n = 20) years. Multiple linear regression revealed that a lower HEI was associated with higher PFS Physical score after adjusting for age group, sex, body mass index, and the number of medical conditions (p = 0.001). Several macro- and micro-nutrient intakes were also lower in those reporting more (≥15) compared to less (<15) perceived physical fatigability. Mediation analysis revealed that PFS Physical scores explained ~65% (p = 0.001) of the association between HEI total score and PROMIS19 Physical Function score. Poor diet quality may contribute to more perceived physical fatigability, which could exacerbate impairments in the oldest-old’s physical function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Nutrition)
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Review
Smartphone Applications Designed to Improve Older People’s Chronic Pain Management: An Integrated Systematic Review
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020040 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
(1) Background: Older people’s chronic pain is often not well managed because of fears of side-effects and under-reporting. Telehealth interventions, in the form of smartphone applications, are attracting much interest in the management of chronic diseases, with new and evolving approaches in response [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Older people’s chronic pain is often not well managed because of fears of side-effects and under-reporting. Telehealth interventions, in the form of smartphone applications, are attracting much interest in the management of chronic diseases, with new and evolving approaches in response to current population demographics. However, the extent to which telehealth interventions may be used to promote and effect the self-management of chronic pain is not established. (2) Aim: To provide an objective review of the existing quantitative and qualitative evidence pertaining to the benefits of smartphone applications for the management of chronic pain in older people. (3) Methods: A literature search was undertaken using PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsychINFO, the Cochrane database, Science Direct and references of retrieved articles. The data were independently extracted by two reviewers from the original reports. (4) Results: This integrative systematic review identified 10 articles considering smartphone applications related to self-management of chronic pain among older adults. (5) Conclusions: It is important for future research to not only examine the effects of smartphone initiatives, but also to compare their safety, acceptability, efficacy and cost–benefit ratio in relation to existing treatment modalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Geriatrics)
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Article
Potential Traumatic Events through the Life Cycle in an Immigrant Population
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020039 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Existing studies on traumatic events focused on children, while it has been understudied in older adults. This study aims to examine prevalence, frequency, and severity of life events in older Chinese Americans. The data were drawn from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly [...] Read more.
Existing studies on traumatic events focused on children, while it has been understudied in older adults. This study aims to examine prevalence, frequency, and severity of life events in older Chinese Americans. The data were drawn from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly (PINE) in 2017–2019. Twenty life events were evaluated, including natural disasters, personal traumatic events, and historical events. Among 3125 participants, the mean age was 75.33 (standard deviation (SD) = 8.22) with 61.06% female. Cultural Revolution (73.27%) has the highest prevalence. A total of 1819 (58.39%) participants reported typhoon and experienced multiple times. Falsely accused of crime was reported as the most severe event. Women were more likely to report family-related life events. Those with higher education were more likely to report personal traumatic events. This study is among the first to profile life events in older Chinese Americans. Age cohorts, gender roles, and socioeconomic status shape individuals’ exposure to life events. This study could help identify which vulnerable groups have high risks of exposure to traumatic events. Full article
Review
Wearable Devices for Physical Activity and Healthcare Monitoring in Elderly People: A Critical Review
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020038 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1536
Abstract
The availability of wearable devices (WDs) to collect biometric information and their use during activities of daily living is significantly increasing in the general population. These small electronic devices, which record fitness and health-related outcomes, have been broadly utilized in industries such as [...] Read more.
The availability of wearable devices (WDs) to collect biometric information and their use during activities of daily living is significantly increasing in the general population. These small electronic devices, which record fitness and health-related outcomes, have been broadly utilized in industries such as medicine, healthcare, and fitness. Since they are simple to use and progressively cheaper, they have also been used for numerous research purposes. However, despite their increasing popularity, most of these WDs do not accurately measure the proclaimed outcomes. In fact, research is equivocal about whether they are valid and reliable methods to specifically evaluate physical activity and health-related outcomes in older adults, since they are mostly designed and produced considering younger subjects’ physical and mental characteristics. Additionally, their constant evolution through continuous upgrades and redesigned versions, suggests the need for constant up-to-date reviews and research. Accordingly, this article aims to scrutinize the state-of-the-art scientific evidence about the usefulness of WDs, specifically on older adults, to monitor physical activity and health-related outcomes. This critical review not only aims to inform older consumers but also aid researchers in study design when selecting physical activity and healthcare monitoring devices for elderly people. Full article
Review
Nutritional Mediators of Cellular Decline and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Older Adults
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020037 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 985
Abstract
Aging is a primary risk factor for the progressive loss of function, disease onset, and increased vulnerability to negative health-related outcomes. These clinical manifestations arise in part from declines in mitochondrial, metabolic, and other processes considered to be hallmarks of aging. Collectively, these [...] Read more.
Aging is a primary risk factor for the progressive loss of function, disease onset, and increased vulnerability to negative health-related outcomes. These clinical manifestations arise in part from declines in mitochondrial, metabolic, and other processes considered to be hallmarks of aging. Collectively, these changes can be defined as age-associated cellular decline (AACD) and are often associated with fatigue, reduced strength, and low physical activity. This manuscript summarizes a recent Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting symposium that explored mechanisms, clinical signs, and emerging cellular nutrition interventions for AACD. The session opened by highlighting results of an expert consensus that developed an initial framework to identify self-reported symptoms and observable signs of AACD in adults aged >50 years. Next, findings from the multi-ethnic molecular determinants of sarcopenia study were discussed, showing impaired mitochondrial bioenergetic capacity and NAD+ metabolism in skeletal muscle of older adults with sarcopenia. Lastly, recent clinical evidence was presented linking urolithin A, a natural mitophagy activator, to improved mitochondrial and cellular health. The virtual panel discussed how stimulation of mitochondrial function via biological pathways, such as mitophagy and NAD+ augmentation, could improve cellular function and muscle health, potentially impacting clinical signs of AACD and overall healthy aging. Full article
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Commentary
Age, Frailty, Resuscitation and Intensive Care: With Reference to COVID-19
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020036 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Discussion regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation and admission to an intensive care unit is frequently fraught in the context of older age. It is complicated by the fact that the presence of multiple comorbidities and frailty adversely impact on prognosis. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical ventilation [...] Read more.
Discussion regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation and admission to an intensive care unit is frequently fraught in the context of older age. It is complicated by the fact that the presence of multiple comorbidities and frailty adversely impact on prognosis. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical ventilation are not appropriate for all. Who decides and how? This paper discusses the issues, biases, and potential harms involved in decision-making. The basis of decision making requires fairness in the distribution of resources/healthcare (distributive justice), yet much of the printed guidance has taken a utilitarian approach (getting the most from the resource provided). The challenge is to provide a balance between justice for the individual and population justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responding to the Pandemic: Geriatric Care Models)
Article
Quality of Life and Mental Health Status of Japanese Older People Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020035 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 721
Abstract
This study aimed to establish the quality of life and mental health status among older Japanese people living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We conducted a questionnaire survey among Japanese retired people aged 50 years or over who had been living in Thailand. The [...] Read more.
This study aimed to establish the quality of life and mental health status among older Japanese people living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We conducted a questionnaire survey among Japanese retired people aged 50 years or over who had been living in Thailand. The questionnaire covered socio-demographic variables including health status and ability to communicate in Thai. We measured mental health status using the Japanese version of the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) and quality of life using the Japanese version of EuroQOL-5D-3L. We explored the factors associated with poor mental health and quality of life using logistic regression analysis. In total, 96 (89.7%)participants provided complete responses. Overall, quality of life was generally good, although those with one or more chronic diseases reported significantly lower quality of life. Having one or more chronic diseases and being aged 70–79 were significantly associated with poorer mental health. In total, 21 (21.8%) respondents had a possible neurosis, which was defined as a total GHQ-28 score of more than 6. The logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between possible neurosis and the presence of chronic diseases (adjusted odds ratio: 11.7 1). Quality of life among older Japanese people living in Chiang Mai was generally good, but there was a high level of possible neurosis, especially among those with one or more chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychology)
Article
Continence Status and Presence of Pressure Skin Injury among Special Elderly Nursing Home Residents in Japan: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey
Geriatrics 2021, 6(2), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geriatrics6020034 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Urinary and fecal incontinence as well as skin pressure injury are common healthcare problems in nursing homes; however, the prevalence and related risk factors were not well understood in the Japanese special elderly nursing home settings. We surveyed the prevalence of urinary, fecal [...] Read more.
Urinary and fecal incontinence as well as skin pressure injury are common healthcare problems in nursing homes; however, the prevalence and related risk factors were not well understood in the Japanese special elderly nursing home settings. We surveyed the prevalence of urinary, fecal and double incontinence, and skin pressure injury among the elderly living in special elderly nursing homes in Japan. A nationwide cross-sectional epidemiological survey was conducted with a total of 4881 residents. The prevalence of urinary, fecal and double incontinence was 82.9%, 68.9% and 64.9%, respectively. Skin pressure injury was found in 283 residents (283/4881, 5.8%). Age, Care-Needs level, loss of voiding desire, and fecal incontinence were significant risk factors for urinary incontinence. Residential period, Care-Needs level, loss of voiding and defecation desires, and urinary incontinence were significant risk factors for fecal incontinence. Only male sex was a significant risk factor for skin pressure injury. Our study revealed continence status and the prevalence of pressure skin injury among older adult residents who receive end-of-life care in special elderly nursing homes in Japan. Further studies should be conducted to examine whether recovery of urinary and fecal sensations improves continence status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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