Collection of articles on Aging is available here.

Sensory-Enhanced, Fortified Snacks for Improved Nutritional Intake Among Nursing Home Residents.
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Bayne D, Barewal R, Shune SE.
Journal of nutrition in gerontology and geriatrics. 2022 Jan;1–10.
The present study aimed to determine if providing sensory-enhanced, fortified snacks changed nutrient consumption among nursing home residents. Nursing home residents were provided typical facility snacks or sensory-enhanced, fortified snacks across two separate 8-week time blocks. The enhanced snack supplements included quick-dissolving (transitional-state) crisps, puree dips, and dry soup blends that are intended to be accessible for individuals with a wide range of masticatory and swallowing abilities (e.g., oral frailty). Snacks were weighed before and after sessions using a food scale. Calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, sugar, and fiber consumed were calculated daily. Despite consuming a smaller percentage of snack weight, participants consumed increased protein and fat, and fewer carbohydrates and sugar in the enhanced snack condition, with no significant difference in caloric intake. Sensory-enhanced, fortified snacks may be viable options for increasing the quality of nutritional intake among nursing home residents, particularly in light of decreased quantity of intake.

Why Men Fare Worse: A Mixed Methods Study Examining Gender Differences in Nursing Home Resident Quality of Life.
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Davila H, Ng W, Akosionu O, Thao MS, Skarphol T, Virnig BA, et al.
The Gerontologist. 2022 Jan
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Despite research documenting gender differences in numerous outcomes in later life, we know little about gender differences in quality of life (QoL) for nursing home (NH) residents. This study examines the relationship between gender and residents’ QoL, including possible reasons for differences observed. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used a mixed methods design including surveys with a random sample of Minnesota NH residents using a multidimensional measure of QoL (n=9,852), resident clinical data, facility-level characteristics (n=364), interviews with residents (n=64), and participant observations. We used linear mixed models and thematic analysis of resident interviews and observations to examine possible gender-related differences in residents’ QoL. RESULTS: After controlling for individual and facility characteristics, men reported lower overall QoL than women, including significantly lower ratings in several QoL domains. In interviews, men noted being less satisfied with activities than women, having fewer friends, and being less able to rely on family for support. Some women described the NH as a place of respite, but men more often described being dissatisfied with life in the NH and undesirable for long-term living. Our observations were consistent with interview findings but provide additional nuances, such as that some men organized their own social groups. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our findings suggest men and women experience QoL differently in NHs, with men reporting lower QoL in several domains. Tailoring more activities for men and finding ways to strengthen relationships for men in NHs could help reduce the gender differences in QoL we observed.

Non-pharmacological interventions to reduce pain in dementia: A quasi-experimental study.
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González-Vaca J, Hernández MG, Cobo CS, Melendo Azuela EM, Tortosa I Moreno A.
Applied nursing research : ANR. 2022 Feb;63:151546.
This study evaluated a non-pharmacological intervention nursing protocol for pain control and assessment of its evolution in a cohort of patients with moderate-to-severe dementia residing in three long-term care facilities in a metropolitan area in Spain. The study was a quasi-experimental pre- and post-exploratory intervention. The presence of pain was evaluated before and after the interventions of nursing protocol for 7 days, carried out by nurses. 157 residents of three centers participated (mean age 81.8 years, 58.1% were women, 83.2% had severe or moderately severe dementia and 65.2%) had regularly scheduled analgesic treatment. At baseline evaluation, the prevalence of pain, assessed with the PAINAD scale was 43.9% and this increased to 73.5% when pain was measured during bathing. The implementation of the nursing protocol of non-pharmacological interventions produced a decrease in pain of 11% (p = 0.0001). Multivariate Ancova analysis demonstrated that non-pharmacological interventions were effective independently of other factors as pressure sores or gender. The implementation of non-pharmacological interventions in social health care centers can produce a decrease in pain for those with dementia.

Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes: The Role of Serious Mental Illness.
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Jester DJ, Molinari V, Bowblis JR, Dobbs D, Zgibor JC, Andel R.
The Gerontologist. 2022 Jan
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nursing homes (NH) are serving a large number of residents with serious mental illness (SMI). We analyze the highest (“High-SMI”) quartile of NHs based on the proportion of residents with SMI and compare NHs on health deficiencies and the incidence of deficiencies given for resident abuse, neglect, and involuntary seclusion. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used national Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) data for all freestanding certified NHs in the continental United States from 2014 to 2017 (14,698 NHs; 41,717 recertification inspections; 246,528 deficiencies). Differences in the number of deficiencies, a weighted deficiency score, the deficiency grade, and the facility characteristics associated with deficiencies for abuse, neglect, and involuntary seclusion were examined in High-SMI. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and odds ratios (OR) were reported with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: High-SMI NHs did not receive more deficiencies or a greater weighted deficiency score per recertification inspection. Deficiencies given to High-SMI NHs were associated with a wider scope, especially Pattern (IRR:1.03;[1.00, 1.07]) and Widespread (IRR:1.07;[1.02, 1.11]). High-SMI NHs were more likely to be cited for resident abuse and neglect (OR:1.49;[1.23, 1.81]) and the policies to prohibit and monitor for abuse and neglect (OR:1.18;[1.08, 1.30]) in comparison to all other NHs. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Although resident abuse, neglect, and involuntary seclusion are rarely cited, these deficiencies are disproportionately found in High-SMI NHs. Further work is needed to disentangle the antecedents to potential resident abuse and neglect in those with mental healthcare needs.

Enhancing engagement in meaningful occupation in a dementia town: A qualitative evaluation of MOED – The meaningful occupational engagement intervention for people with dementia.
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Kielsgaard K, Andersen PT, Horghagen S, Nielsen D, Hansen MH, Kristensen HK.
Dementia (London, England). 2022 Jan;14713012211053986.
INTRODUCTION: Engagement in meaningful everyday life occupations is linked to well-being. However, people with dementia are often deprived of engagement. As a response, a Danish Dementia Town was established with the intention of transforming care services to improve opportunities for meaningful engagement. The evidence-based The meaningful occupational engagement intervention for people with dementia (MOED) intervention was developed and implemented in dementia town to enhance meaningful occupational engagement. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the content, impact and implementation process of MOED. METHOD: To evaluate MOED, we applied a program theory-based qualitative approach, building on participant observations and informal conversations with people with dementia (n = 7) and staff (n = 9). Data were analysed from a hermeneutic approach to gain an in-depth understanding of how MOED influenced meaningful occupational engagement and to evaluate the implementation process. FINDINGS: The main theme ‘Engagement in meaningful occupations – a conditional and fragile process’ emerged along with three subthemes: ‘Creating an everyday space of meaning: Conditions of the intervention’, ‘Occupational engagement as an opportunity to blossom: Impact of the intervention’ and ‘Professional identity, culture and reflections: Contextual barriers to changes to working practice’. Together, the subthemes illustrate how engagement in meaningful occupations arose. However, opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations were fragile, as they depended on various factors within the context. CONCLUSION: Engagement in meaningful occupations emerged when MOED was applied in accordance with the program theory, as it seemed to create spaces where people with dementia could engage in meaningful occupations and they could blossom over time. However, MOED was only partially implemented in accordance with the developed program theory, as several contextual barriers influenced the sustainability of the intervention. MOED showed potential to support improvement in dementia care activity programmes to enhance opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations in everyday life for people living with dementia.

Quality of Life Scores for Nursing Home Residents are Stable Over Time: Evidence from Minnesota.
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Ng W, Bowblis JR, Duan Y, Akosionu O, Shippee TP.
Journal of aging & social policy. 2022 Jan;1–14.
Quality of life (QoL) is important to nursing home (NH) residents, yet QoL is only publicly reported in a few states, in part because of concerns regarding measure stability. This study used QoL data from Minnesota, one of the few states that collects the measures, to test the stability of QoL over time. To do so, we assessed responses from two resident cohorts who were surveyed in subsequent years (2012-2013 and 2014-2015). Stability was measured using intra-class correlation (ICC) obtained from hierarchical linear models. Overall QoL had ICCs of 0.604 and 0.614, respectively. Our findings show that person-reported QoL has adequate stability over a period of one year. Findings have implications for higher adoption of person-reported QoL measure in long-term care.

Risk Indicators Improve the Prescription Quality of Drugs with Anticholinergic Properties in Nursing Homes.
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Sanchez S, Chrusciel J, Ndiongue BM, Blochet C, Forget JF, Letty A, et al.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Dec;19(1).
AIM: The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a collaborative therapeutic optimization program on the rate of potentially inappropriate prescription of drugs with anticholinergic properties in nursing homes. METHODS: Quasi-experimental study in 37 nursing homes in France. The intervention included the use of quality indicators for prescriptions combined with educational sessions and dedicated materials for nursing home staff (unlimited access to study material for staff, including nurses, general practitioners, pharmacists). Indicators were calculated based on routine data collected from an electronic pill dispenser system. The primary outcome was the presence of at least one prescription containing ≥1 drug from a list of 12 drugs with anticholinergic properties. A difference-in-differences analysis was conducted at 18 months as well as propensity score weighting to minimize any potential indication bias. A generalized estimating equation model estimated the probability of being prescribed at least one target drug at any time during a 9-month period for each resident. RESULTS: In total, 33 nursing homes (intervention group: n = 10; control group: n = 23) were included, totalling 8137 residents. There was a decrease in the use of drugs with anticholinergic properties over time in both groups, as well as a decline in the intervention group compared to the control group (Odds Ratio: 0.685, 95% CI: 0.533, 0.880; p < 0.01) that was attributable to the intervention. An estimated 49 anticholinergic properties drug prescriptions were avoided by the intervention. CONCLUSION: This study found that an intervention based on indicators derived from routine prescription data was effective in reducing use of drugs with anticholinergic properties prescriptions in nursing homes.

Influenza Outbreak and a Group Meal in a Geriatric Long-term Care Facility in Japan.
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Yoshimura A, Sasahara T, Ae R, Kosami K, Akine D, Ogawa M, et al.
Biocontrol science. 2021;26(4):207–10.
Influenza outbreaks at geriatric long-term care facilities (g-LTCFs) can be deadly and their prevention is important. However, the factors influencing disease transmission in g-LTCFs remain controversial. In this descriptive study, we tried to identify the potential risk factors influencing influenza outbreaks that occurred in different influenza seasons within a single g-LTCF with 100 residents in Gunma Prefecture. We reviewed the detailed facility records for all influenza cases in both residents and staff between January 2012 and June 2020. Facility preventive measures were also reviewed. We found that community meals may have been a potential source of transmission leading to the outbreaks. When influenza infection is noted, implementation of strict preventive measures and restriction of meal provision to resident rooms may help to prevent disease transmission and the development of an outbreak. Such measures may also be useful to prevent the transmission of other serious droplet-borne diseases within g-LTCFs.