Aging

Collection of articles on Aging is available here.

Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Functional Mobility, Balance, Gait Strength, and Quality of Life in Institutionalized Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
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Alvarez-Barbosa F, Del Pozo-Cruz J, Del Pozo-Cruz B, García-Hermoso A, Alfonso-Rosa RM.
J Aging Phys Act 2020 Apr 24;28(2):219-230.
The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of whole-body vibration on balance, functional mobility, gait, functional performance, and quality of life in institutionalized older people. Eight databases were systematically reviewed, as recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration. This systematic review was designed to answer the acronym set by the participants, interventions, comparators, and outcomes (PICO)-model. Ten randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. The analysis of the mean differences (MDs) of the functional mobility assessed with Time Up and Go test was MD = -2.49 s (95% confidence interval, CI, [-4.37, -0.61]; I2 = 68%). In 279 participants from five studies, the overall MD = 0.49 (95% CI [-0.13, 1.11]; I2 = 23%) for gait, and MD = 0.96 (95% CI [-0.45, 2.37]; I2 = 85%) for balance, which represents the total Tinetti score, MD = 1.59 (95% CI [-0.52, 3.70]; I2 = 82%). In summary, whole-body vibration could have benefits on functional mobility in institutionalized older people.

The effects of GAMotion (a giant exercising board game) on physical capacity, motivation and quality of life among nursing home residents: A pilot interventional study
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Buckinx F, Bruyère O, Lengelé L, Reginster JY, Marchal Q, Hurtrez P, et al.
Exp Gerontol 2020 Sep;138:110983.
BACKGROUND: In 2017, our team highlighted promising results of a giant exercising board game on physical activity level and a broader array of physical and psychological outcomes among nursing home residents. However, some improvements of this game were needed to make it more suitable for nursing homes and more challenging in terms of exercises. Therefore, we decided to develop a new version of a giant exercising board game: the GAMotion. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this pilot study was to assess the impact of the GAMotion on physical capacity among nursing home residents. The secondary aims were to assess the impact of the GAMotion on motivation and quality of life in this population. METHODS: A one-month pilot interventional study was performed in two comparable nursing homes. Eleven participants meeting the inclusion criteria took part in the intervention in one nursing home, whereas 10 participants were assigned to the control group in the other institution. The GAMotion required participants to perform strength, flexibility, balance and endurance activities. The assistance provided by an exercising specialist decreased gradually during the intervention in an autonomy-oriented approach based on the self-determination theory. Physical capacity (i.e. fall risk using Tinetti test; dynamic balance using Timed Up and Go test (TUG); physical abilities using SPPB test; grip strength using Jamar dynamometer; isometric lower limb muscle strength using MicroFET2 and quantitative evaluation of walking using Locometrix), motivation (i.e. using Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2) and quality of life (i.e. using EQ-5D questionnaire) were assessed at baseline and at the end of the intervention. A two-way repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess time*group (intervention vs. control group) effects. All the analyses were adjusted on age, which differed significantly between the 2 groups at baseline. RESULTS: During the intervention period, the experimental group displayed a greater improvement in Tinetti score (p < 0.0001), TUG (p = 0.02), SPPB (p < 0.0001), knee extensor isometric strength (p = 0.04), grip strength (p = 0.02), symmetry of steps (p = 0.04), 3 domains of the EQ-5D (i.e. mobility, self-care, usual activities: p < 0.0001) and intrinsic motivation (p = 0.02) compared to the control group. No significant improvement was demonstrated on the other parameters. CONCLUSION: These promising results should be interpreted with caution because of certain limitations (e.g. small sample size, no blind assessment). Further investigation is required to confirm and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the GAMotion in nursing homes.

Barriers and facilitators of implementing an antimicrobial stewardship intervention for urinary tract infection in a long-term care facility
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Chan AJ, O’Donnell D, Kaasa B, Mathers A, Papaioannou A, Brazil K, et al.
Can Pharm J (Ott) 2021 Feb 16;154(2):100-109.
BACKGROUND: Fifty percent of antibiotic courses in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are unnecessary, leading to increased risk of harm. Most studies to improve antibiotic prescribing in LTCFs showed modest and unsustained results. We aimed to identify facilitators, barriers and strategies in implementing a urinary tract infection (UTI)-focused antimicrobial stewardship (AS) intervention at a LTCF, with the secondary objective of exploring the pharmacist’s potential roles. METHODS: The study used a qualitative descriptive design. Participants attended either a focus group or one-on-one interview. Data were analyzed inductively using a codebook modified in an iterative analytic process. Barrier and facilitator themes were mapped using the capability, opportunity, motivation and behaviour (COM-B) model. Similarly, themes were identified from the transcripts regarding the pharmacist’s roles. RESULTS: Sixteen participants were interviewed. Most barriers and facilitators mapped to the opportunities domain of the COM-B model. The main barrier themes were lack of access, lack of knowledge, ineffective communication, lack of resources and external factors, while the main facilitator themes were education, effective collaboration, good communication, sufficient resources and access. For the pharmacist’s role, the barrier themes were ineffective collaboration and communication. CONCLUSION: This study supports the importance of tailoring interventions to target factors underlying barriers to behaviour change. At this LTCF, an effective antimicrobial stewardship intervention should incorporate strategies to improve access, knowledge, communication and collaboration in its design, having sufficient resources and addressing external factors to optimize its success and long-term sustainability. Can Pharm J (Ott) 2021;154:xx-xx.

A Feasibility Study of a Multifaceted Walking Intervention to Maintain the Functional Mobility, Activities of Daily Living, and Quality of Life of Nursing Home Residents With Dementia
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Chu CH, Puts M, Brooks D, Parry M, McGilton KS.
Rehabil Nurs 2020 Jul/Aug;45(4):204-217.
PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a multifaceted walking intervention (MWI) aimed to maintain the functional mobility, activities of daily living function, and quality of life of long-term care home residents with dementia. DESIGN/METHODS: A quasiexperimental time-series design was used. The 4-month intervention provided one-on-one walking 2-4 days a week, guided by an individualized communication care plan and interviews with collaterals and staff. RESULTS: The MWI was feasible based on high recruitment and adherence rates (86% and 94%, respectively) and highly acceptable to stakeholders. Residents (n = 25) showed significant improvements after the intervention: Timed Up-and-Go (-8.85 seconds, p = .00), Two-Minute Walk Test (27.47 m, p = .00), Functional Independence Measure (0.72, p = .00), and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Quality of Life (2.44, p = .05). CONCLUSION: The MWI was feasible and improved functional mobility compared to usual care. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Physical activity delivered with a person-centered care was feasible and may be beneficial to mitigate decline in long-term care home residents with dementia.

Social Services Involvement in Care Transitions and Admissions in Nursing Homes
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Galambos C, Rollin L, Bern-Klug M, Oie M, Engelbart E.
J Gerontol Soc Work 2021 Apr 25:1-18.
Care transitions (CT) are critical junctures in the healthcare delivery process. Effective transitions reduce the need for subsequent transfers between healthcare settings, including nursing homes. Understanding social services (SS) involvement in these processes in nursing homes is important from a quality and holistic care perspective. Using logistic regression, this study examines structural and relational factors identified with higher involvement of SS in care transitions and admissions. SS directors from 924 nursing homes were evaluated in relation to SS involvement in care transitions and admissions processes. Results suggest the level of SS involvement in care transitions and admissions are associated with structural factors such as size of facility, geographical location, ratio of FTE’s to beds, ownership status, and standalone SS departments, as well as relational factors, including perceptions and utilization of SS staff by facility leadership, coworkers, and family. Additionally, SS staff with higher levels of expertise and with social work degrees are less involved in admissions tasks.

The use of music in aged care facilities: A mixed-methods study
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Garrido S, Dunne L, Perz J, Chang E, Stevens CJ.
J Health Psychol 2020 Sep;25(10-11):1425-1438.
Music is frequently used in aged care, being easily accessible and cost-effective. Research indicates that certain types of musical engagement hold greater benefits than others. However, it is not clear how effectively music is utilized in aged care facilities and what the barriers are to its further use. This study used a mixed-methods paradigm, surveying 46 aged care workers and conducting in-depth interviews with 5, to explore how music is used in aged care facilities in Australia, staff perceptions of the impact of music on residents, and the barriers to more effective implementation of music in aged care settings.

Association of Infection-Related Hospitalization With Cognitive Impairment Among Nursing Home Residents
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Gracner T, Agarwal M, Murali KP, Stone PW, Larson EL, Furuya EY, et al.
JAMA Netw Open 2021 Apr 1;4(4):e217528.
IMPORTANCE: Hospitalizations for infections among nursing home (NH) residents remain common despite national initiatives to reduce them. Cognitive impairment, which markedly affects quality of life and caregiving needs, has been associated with hospitalizations, but the association between infection-related hospitalizations and long-term cognitive function among NH residents is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether there are changes in cognitive function before vs after infection-related hospitalizations among NH residents. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used data from the Minimum Data Set 3.0 linked to Medicare hospitalization data from 2011 to 2017 for US nursing home residents aged 65 years or older who had experienced an infection-related hospitalization and had at least 2 quarterly Minimum Data Set assessments before and 4 or more after the infection-related hospitalization. Analyses were performed from September 1, 2019, to December 21, 2020. EXPOSURE: Infection-related hospitalization lasting 1 to 14 days. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Using an event study approach, associations between infection-related hospitalizations and quarterly changes in cognitive function among NH residents were examined overall and by sex, age, Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) diagnosis, and sepsis vs other infection-related diagnoses. Resident-level cognitive function was measured using the Cognitive Function Scale (CFS), with scores ranging from 1 (intact) to 4 (severe cognitive impairment). RESULTS: Of the sample of 20 698 NH residents, 71.0% were women and 82.6% were non-Hispanic White individuals; the mean (SD) age at the time of transfer to the hospital was 82 (8.5) years. The mean CFS score was 2.17, and the prevalence of severe cognitive impairment (CFS score, 4) was 9.0%. During the first quarter after an infection-related hospitalization, residents experienced a mean increase of 0.06 points in CFS score (95% CI, 0.05-0.07 points; P < .001), or 3%. The increase in scores was greatest among residents aged 85 years or older vs younger residents by approximately 0.022 CFS points (95% CI, 0.004-0.040 points; P < .05). The prevalence of severe cognitive impairment increased by 1.6 percentage points (95% CI, 1.2-2.0 percentage points; P < .001), or 18%; the increases were observed among individuals with ADRD but not among those without it. After an infection-related hospitalization, cognition among residents who had experienced sepsis declined more than for residents who had not by about 0.02 CFS points (95% CI, 0.00-0.04 points; P < .05). All observed differences persisted without an accelerated rate of decline for at least 6 quarters after infection-related hospitalization. No differences were observed by sex. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, infection-related hospitalization was associated with immediate and persistent cognitive decline among nursing home residents, with the largest increase in CFS scores among older residents, those with ADRD, and those who had experienced sepsis. Identification of NH residents at risk of worsened cognition after an infection-related hospitalization may help to ensure that their care needs are addressed to prevent further cognitive decline.

The experiences, priorities, and perceptions of informal caregivers of people with dementia in nursing homes: A scoping review
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Harper AE, Terhorst L, Moscirella M, Turner RL, Piersol CV, Leland NE.
Dementia (London) 2021 Apr 24:14713012211012606.
BACKGROUND: Person-centered care has been shown to increase desired outcomes for people with dementia, yet informal caregivers’ dissatisfaction with care is often reported. For those living in a nursing home, informal caregivers are uniquely situated to provide key insights into the individual’s care. However, little is known of the informal caregivers’ perspective, which hinders efforts to improve their satisfaction with person-centered nursing home care. Thus, we examined the comprehensive experiences, priorities, and perceptions of informal caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia. METHODS: In collaboration with stakeholders, a scoping review of Medline (Ovid), EMBASE.com, CINAHL (EBSCO), the Cochrane Library (Wiley), and PsycINFO (Ovid) databases from January 2000 to July 2020 was conducted. Data were extracted reflecting the experiences, priorities, and preferences of caregivers of people with dementia residing in nursing homes. RESULTS: We identified 114 articles that revealed nine themes: (1) communication, (2) transition to nursing home, (3) quality of care, (4) quality of life, (5) informal caregiver role, (6) knowledge of dementia, (7) end-of-life preferences, (8) medication use to manage neuropsychiatric behaviors, and (9) finances. CONCLUSION: Informal caregivers described aspects of care that led to both positive and negative experiences with and perceptions of nursing home care. The shortcomings in communication were discussed most frequently, indicating a high priority area. While researchers define the identified themes individually, informal caregivers perceive them to be interwoven as they relate to person-centered care delivery. Although we did not assess the quality of included articles, by identifying themes relevant to caregivers’ perspectives of nursing home care, our findings may help to inform efforts to optimize caregivers’ satisfaction with nursing home care for residents with dementia.

The Frailty In Residential Sector over Time (FIRST) study: methods and baseline cohort description
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Jadczak AD, Robson L, Cooper T, Bell JS, Visvanathan R, FIRST Study Collaborators.
BMC Geriatr 2021 Feb 3;21(1):99-020-01974-1.
BACKGROUND: The Frailty In Residential Sector over Time (FIRST) Study is a 3-year prospective cohort study investigating the health of residents living in residential aged care services (RACS) in South Australia. The study aims to examine the change in frailty status and associated health outcomes. METHODS: This interim report presents data from March 2019-October 2020. The study setting is 12 RACS from one organisation across metropolitan and rural South Australia involving 1243 residents. All permanent (i.e. respite or transition care program excluded) residents living in the RACS for at least 8 weeks were invited to participate. Residents who were deemed to be medically unstable (e.g. experiencing delirium), have less than 3 months to live, or not fluent in English were excluded. Data collected included frailty status, medical diagnoses, medicines, pain, nutrition, sarcopenia, falls, dementia, anxiety and depression, sleep quality, quality of life, satisfaction with care, activities of daily living, and life space use at baseline and 12-months. Data Linkage will occur over the 3 years from baseline. RESULTS: A total of 561 permanent residents (mean age 87.69 ± 7.25) were included. The majority of residents were female (n = 411, 73.3%) with 95.3% (n = 527) being classified as either frail (n = 377, 68.2%) or most-frail (n = 150, 27.1%) according to the Frailty Index (FI). Most residents were severely impaired in their basic activities of daily living (n = 554, 98.8%), and were at-risk of malnutrition (n = 305, 55.0%) and at-risk of sarcopenia (n = 492, 89.5%). Most residents did not experience pain (n = 475, 85.4%), had normal daytime sleepiness (n = 385, 69.7%), and low anxiety and depression scores (n = 327, 58.9%). CONCLUSION: This study provides valuable information on the health and frailty levels of residents living in RACS in South Australia. The results will assist in developing interventions that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in aged care services. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12619000500156 ).

Function-Focused Person-Environment Fit for Long-Term Care Residents With Dementia: Impact on Apathy
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Jao YL, Liu W, Chaudhury H, Parajuli J, Holmes S, Galik E.
Gerontologist 2021 Apr 3;61(3):413-424.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Apathy is a common symptom in dementia and is associated with rapid cognitive decline, poor quality of life, and higher mortality. Lawton’s Competence and Environmental Press model suggests that an individual’s behavior and affect are influenced by the fit of their functional abilities with the environmental demands. Yet, empirical evidence on the association between person-environment (P-E) fit and apathy is lacking. Thus, this study examined the relationship between P-E fit and apathy in dementia. Specifically, this study focused on the extent the physical environment fits individual functional limitations. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study using the baseline data from long-term care residents with dementia. The sample included 199 residents with moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment from 4 assisted living and 4 nursing homes. Function-focused P-E fit was measured using the Housing Enabler scale. Apathy was measured using the Apathy Evaluation Scale. Multilevel linear models were used to analyze the relationship between P-E fit and apathy. RESULTS: Findings revealed that greater P-E fit, specifically indoor environment, was significantly associated with lower apathy after controlling for age, gender, and years living in the facility. Yet, the association became not significant after controlling for individual physical function. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Findings support the association between function-focused P-E fit and apathy, but the association is no longer significant after physical function is adjusted. Future research may explore other aspects of P-E fit and the impact of social and organizational environment on apathy in dementia.

Rejection of Care and Aggression Among Older Veterans With Dementia: The Influence of Background Factors and Interpersonal Triggers
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Kang B, Pan W, Karel MJ, McConnell ES.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2021/05.
ObjectivesTo test relationships among background factors, interpersonal triggers, rejection of care, and aggression among veterans living with dementia in residential long-term care settings, based on the need-driven dementia-compromised behavior model.; ObjectivesTo test relationships among background factors, interpersonal triggers, rejection of care, and aggression among veterans living with dementia in residential long-term care settings, based on the need-driven dementia-compromised behavior model.

Sensory Health for Residents With Dementia in Care Homes in England: A Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Survey
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Leroi I, Chauhan N, Hann M, Jones L, Prew S, Russell G, et al.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2021/05.
BackgroundMost residents with dementia (RwD) in long-term care (LTC) facilities experience hearing and vision problems, yet these sensory deficits, which are associated with poor outcomes, are frequently under-recognized or incompletely managed.; BackgroundMost residents with dementia (RwD) in long-term care (LTC) facilities experience hearing and vision problems, yet these sensory deficits, which are associated with poor outcomes, are frequently under-recognized or incompletely managed.

Continuous Palliative Sedation Until Death: The Development of a Practice Protocol for Nursing Homes
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Robijn L, Gijsberts MJ, Pype P, Rietjens J, Deliens L, Chambaere K.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 Apr 27.
OBJECTIVES: Challenges inherent in the practice of continuous palliative sedation until death appear to be particularly pervasive in nursing homes. We aimed to develop a protocol to improve the quality of the practice in Belgian nursing homes. METHODS: The development of the protocol was based on the Medical Research Council Framework and made use of the findings of a systematic review of existing improvement initiatives and focus groups with 71 health care professionals [palliative care physicians, general practitioners (GPs), and nursing home staff] identifying perceived barriers to the use of continuous palliative sedation until death in nursing homes. The protocol was then reviewed and refined by another 70 health care professionals (palliative care physicians, geriatricians, GPs, and nursing home staff) through 10 expert panels. RESULTS: The final protocol was signed off by expert panels after 2 consultation rounds in which the remaining issues were ironed out. The protocol encompassed 7 sequential steps and is primarily focused on clarification of the medical and social situation, communication with all care providers involved and with the resident and/or relatives, the organization of care, the actual performance of continuous sedation, and the supporting of relatives and care providers during and after the procedure. Although consistent with existing guidelines, our protocol describes more comprehensively recommendations about coordination and collaboration practices in nursing homes as well as specific matters such as how to communicate with fellow residents and give them the opportunity to say goodbye in some way to the person who is dying. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study succeeded in developing a practice protocol for continuous palliative sedation until death adapted to the specific context of nursing homes. Before implementing it, future research should focus on developing profound implementation strategies and on thoroughly evaluating its effectiveness.

What can a home hemodialysis program offer to patients in a nursing home setting? A case series and feasibility analysis
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Scarpioni R, Ricardi M, Manini A, Chiappini P, Ballocchi L, Albertazzi V, et al.
Hemodial Int 2021 Apr;25(2):147-153.
INTRODUCTION: Over the last decades, the number of elderly patients on dialysis has rapidly grown on account of increased life expectancy, improved care and reduced mortality rate. Therefore, cooperation between geriatricians and nephrologists has become mandatory for co-managing kidney disease in these patients. Based on renewed interest in home hemodialysis (HHD), elderly patients may benefit from not being transported from their home for therapy. METHODS: Here, we report our experience with HHD involving three elderly patients who were followed-up over a 15-months period in a nursing home. FINDINGS: Our experience demonstrates that hospitalization abruptly dropped from 40 days to zero days, the need for erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) diminished, transportation-related costs for home treatments decreased, and quality of life (QoL) improved. This was confirmed by a questionnaire administered to our patients at the start and again after 6 months of HHD which evaluated the Physical Health Component Score (PCS) and the Mental Health Component Score (MCS). DISCUSSION: Home hemodialysis may represent an important way to improve social, mental, and physical recovery, while also eliminating the cost of transportation and the discomfort of abandoning their “homes” and daily habits. Home hemodialysis is an effective alternative to in-center HD or peritoneal dialysis (PD) that should be offered to elderly patients when a home caregiver is not available, nonetheless, nursing assistance is required. Moreover, HHD allows patients to stay at home, thereby avoiding several weekly trips to the dialysis center, and may be useful in reducing infections, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by our experience.