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Peter Klavora and Ronald J. Heslegrave

Individuals age 65 and over represent the most rapidly growing segment of the driving population in North America. Although the driving privilege helps seniors maintain greater levels of independence and self-sufficiency, many deficits in driving-related abilities increase with age and can place some individuals, or other road users, at risk for property destruction or personal injury. Drastic age-related declines in driving-related abilities are not inevitable, however. Aging-driver-specific programs have been shown to be effective in ensuring that older drivers remain safe and competent on the roads. Current research suggests that Visual-Motor Useful Field of View training might be an effective means of assessing and enhancing many of the functional psychomotor tasks required by senior drivers. The potential success of such specific fitness and psychomotor training programs has great implications for helping seniors maintain independent living and an improved quality of life for as long as possible.

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S.E. Barber, A. Forster and K.M. Birch

Background:

Physical activity is important for maintaining independence and quality of life in older people living in care homes. Little is known about patterns of physical activity or sedentary behavior in this population.

Methods:

Thirty-three care home residents (82.6 ± 9.2 years) wore an ActiGraph GTX3 accelerometer for seven days, which provided minutes of sedentary behavior and low, light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Participants undertook the Mini-Mental State Examination and care staff reported activities of daily living (Barthel index) and functional ambulation classification (FAC) for each participant.

Results:

Participants spent on average 79% of their day sedentary, 14% in low, 6% in light, and 1% in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Activity levels did not significantly differ between days or hours of the day (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Levels of physical activity were very low and time being sedentary was high. This study can inform physical activity and sedentary behavior interventions for care homes’ residents.

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Aftab E. Patla and Anne Shumway-Cook

Mobility, the ability to move independently, is critical to maintaining independence and quality of life. Among older adults, mobility disability results when an individual cannot meet the demands of the environment. Current approaches to defining mobility rely on distance and time measures, or decompose mobility into subtasks (e.g., climbing, sit to stand), but provide limited understanding of mobility in the elderly. In this paper, a new conceptual framework identifies the critical environmental factors, or dimensions, that operationally define mobility within a given community, such as ambient conditions (light levels, weather conditions) and terrain characteristics (stairs, curbs). Our premise is that the environment and the individual conjointly determine mobility disability. Mobility in the elderly is defined not by the number of tasks a person can or cannot perform, but by the range of environmental contexts in which tasks can be safely carried out: the more disabled, the more restrictive the dimensions.

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Stephen Silverman and Melinda Solmon

This paper addresses the appropriate unit of analysis in field research. We first discuss the issues related to this topic: (a) unit of measurement versus unit of analysis, (b) treatments and random assignment, (c) independence of observations, (d) moderating and control variables, and (e) correlational versus experimental research. We then present a model for determining the correct unit of analysis. In many instances, researchers should use class means or subgroup means, and this has implications for research design. In the third section, we discuss the related issues of (a) the burden of proof, (b) asking the right questions and getting the right answers, and (c) completing statistical analyses. How data are analyzed can affect the results, and researchers should consider these issues when planning their research.

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Melissa Daly, Meghan E. Vidt, Joel D. Eggebeen,, W. Greg Simpson, Michael E. Miller, Anthony P. Marsh and Katherine R. Saul

Aging leads to a decline in strength and an associated loss of independence. The authors examined changes in muscle volume, maximum isometric joint moment, functional strength, and 1-repetition maximum (1RM) after resistance training (RT) in the upper extremity of older adults. They evaluated isometric joint moment and muscle volume as predictors of functional strength. Sixteen healthy older adults (average age 75 ± 4.3 yr) were randomized to a 6-wk upper extremity RT program or control group. The RT group increased 1RM significantly (p < .01 for all exercises). Compared with controls, randomization to RT led to greater functional pulling strength (p = .003), isometric shoulder-adduction moment (p = .041), elbow-flexor volume (p = .017), and shoulder-adductor volume (p = .009). Shoulder-muscle volumes and isometric moments were good predictors of functional strength. The authors conclude that shoulder strength is an important factor for performing functional reaching and pulling tasks and a key target for upper extremity RT interventions.

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Daniel A. Gruber

This article presents a case study of the developments in media gatekeeping in the last 10 years, focusing on the launch of the Tennis Channel and the ascendance of ESPN as the major network for professional tennis in the United States. The U.S. broadcast networks NBC and CBS have ceded the exclusive television rights for 2 of the Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon, U.S. Open) to ESPN for the first time in over 40 years. Meanwhile, the Tennis Channel, despite its independence from the media conglomerates, has carved out a niche for fans with its extensive global coverage of tournaments and for advertisers with its lucrative audience demographics. This change in dominance after the broadcast networks reigned for over 4 decades underscores the globalization of the sport and the abundance of early-round tournament matches available to fans. Organizational theories are used to analyze what has occurred and to predict what will happen next for tennis media gatekeeping in the United States.

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Anne O. Brady, Chad R. Straight and Ellen M. Evans

The aging process leads to adverse changes in body composition (increases in fat mass and decreases in skeletal muscle mass), declines in physical function (PF), and ultimately increased risk for disability and loss of independence. Specific components of body composition or muscle capacity (strength and power) may be useful in predicting PF; however, findings have been mixed regarding the most salient predictor of PF. The development of a conceptual model potentially aids in understanding the interrelated factors contributing to PF with the factors of interest being physical activity, body composition, and muscle capacity. This article also highlights sex differences in these domains. Finally, factors known to affect PF, such as sleep, depression, fatigue, and self-efficacy, are discussed. Development of a comprehensive conceptual model is needed to better characterize the most salient factors contributing to PF and to subsequently inform the development of interventions to reduce physical disability in older adults.

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Jane Chung, George Demiris and Hilaire J. Thompson

Mobility is critical in maintaining independence in older adults. This study aims to systematically review the scientific literature to identify measures of mobility limitation for community-dwelling older adults. A systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, and psycINFO, using the search terms “mobility limitation”, “mobility disability”, and “mobility difficulty” yielded 1,847 articles from 1990 to 2012; a final selection of 103 articles was used for the present manuscript. Tools to measure mobility were found to be either self-report or performance-based instruments. Commonly measured constructs of mobility included walking, climbing stairs, and lower extremity function. There was heterogeneity in ways of defining and measuring mobility limitation in older adults living in the community. Given the lack of consistency in assessment tools for mobility, a clear understanding and standardization of instruments are required for comparison across studies and for better understanding indicators and outcomes of mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults.

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Rebecca L. Vivrette, Laurence Z. Rubenstein, Jennifer L. Martin, Karen R. Josephson and B. Josea Kramer

Objective:

To determine seniors’ beliefs about falls and design a fall-risk self-assessment and educational materials to promote early identification of evidence-based fall risks and encourage prevention behaviors.

Methods:

Focus groups with community-dwelling seniors, conducted in two phases to identify perceptions about fall risks and risk reduction and to assess face validity of the fall-risk self-assessment and acceptability of educational materials.

Results:

Lay perception of fall risks was in general concordance with evidence-based research. Maintaining independence and positive tone were perceived as key motivators for fall prevention. Seniors intended to use information in the educational tool to stimulate discussions about falls with health care providers.

Implications:

An evidence-based, educational fall-risk self-assessment acceptable to older adults can build on existing lay knowledge about fall risks and perception that falls are a relevant problem and can educate seniors about their specific risks and how to minimize them.

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César García

Historically, Barcelona Football Club (BFC) has represented one of the pillars of Catalan identity, which earned it the slogan “more than a club.” In recent times, especially under the presidency of Joan Laporta, management has radicalized the club’s political positions by using BFC as a platform to openly promote the independence from Spain of the Catalan region. Despite the fact that most Barcelona fans in Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain, have much more moderate political positions, the radicalization of BFC does not appear to have eroded the relationship-building process with Barcelona fandom. This article argues that BFC as an institution still maintains a good relationship with its fans because the social, as well as individual, identity provided by allegiance to a soccer club such as BFC is ultimately more important to members and fans than the club’s political positions.