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Andrés Losada, Karl Pillemer, María Márquez-González, Rosa Romero-Moreno, Laura Gallego-Alberto
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Ambivalence has been described as simultaneous positive and negative emotional experiences. Although ambivalent feelings are often reported by dementia family caregivers, the effect of these feelings on caregivers' mental health has not been studied. Furthermore, the measurement of ambivalence specific to caregiving situations has not been studied. The aims of this study are to analyze the psychometric properties of the Caregiving Ambivalence Scale (CAS) and, drawing upon the stress and coping model, to test whether ambivalent feelings significantly contribute to caregivers' distress...
September 7, 2016: Gerontologist
Gunhild O Hagestad, Richard A Settersten
We start with the observation that aging gerontologists often engage in two distinct discourses on aging-one public and one private. This separation entails "othering," which reproduces agism and stigma. Based on personal experience, insight from colleagues and writers, and concepts from symbolic interaction perspectives, we argue that becoming old to some degree involves becoming a stranger. Before reaching old age, both of us have been in the position of strangers due to social experiences that left us "off the line" or "on the margins...
September 7, 2016: Gerontologist
Michelle Pannor Silver, Sarah A Williams
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Some professions foster expectations that individuals cultivate their work identity above all other aspects of life. This can be problematic when individuals are confronted with the expectation that they will readily terminate this identity in later-career stages as institutions seek to cycle in new generations. This study examines the relationship between work identity and retirement by examining multiple generations of academic physicians. DESIGN AND METHODS: This study used a multimethod qualitative design that included document analysis, participant observation, focus groups, and in-depth interviews with academic physicians from one of the oldest departments of medicine in North America...
September 1, 2016: Gerontologist
Peter A Lichtenberg
The experience of grief is both uniquely personal and universal. Our personality, our relationship with the deceased, the manner in which the deceased died, our life stage, and many other contextual factors matter and impact grief, and yet there are many experiences, phases, stages of grief that are universal. Those who are grieving deeply or who are farther along in their healing are often trying to understand grief and its realities. It has been said that people die but relationships do not. As a widower twice, once at age 25 and then again nearly 30 years later, I agree with that sentiment, and it is the profound relationships with my wives Becky and Susan that propelled me to share my experiences and reflections on grief and healing...
September 1, 2016: Gerontologist
Ashton Chapman, Lawrence Ganong, Marilyn Coleman, Youngjin Kang, Caroline Sanner, Luke T Russell
PURPOSE: Stepgrandparents are becoming more common, and they can, and often do, provide affective and instrumental support to families. Little is known, however, about how they negotiate and enact their roles within families, especially with stepgrandchildren. Stepgrandmothers warrant special attention because researchers have found that women experience more challenges than men in stepfamilies. Guided by symbolic interactionism, the purposes of our study were: (a) to explore stepgrandmothers' role enactment and (b) to explore the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and contextual factors that contribute to role enactment in intergenerational steprelationships...
August 12, 2016: Gerontologist
Miles G Taylor, Amélie Quesnel-Vallée
In contrasting health care structures, we each served as caregivers to elderly parents where a shared and unexpected theme in our experiences was the substantial burden of negotiating and managing long-term care (LTC) services within our respective health and social care systems. In this article, we introduce and elucidate an under recognized source of caregiver burden in the United States and Canada: the structural burden of caregiving. We draw on shared and unique experiences cross-nationally, along with the literature, to illustrate that (a) today's caregiving is increasingly characterized by interactions with formal health and social systems in negotiating and managing services, (b) these systems are hampered by discontinuous and fragmented care which increase caregiver stress, and (c) this structural burden likely exacerbates inequity for both care recipients and caregivers...
August 12, 2016: Gerontologist
Lindsey A Cary, Alison L Chasteen, Jessica Remedios
PURPOSE: Much like sexism, ageism is a multifaceted prejudice; it involves benevolent and hostile attitudes toward older adults. There are many scales designed to measure hostile ageism, yet none dedicated to measuring benevolent ageism. In the current studies, we developed and validated a 13-item measure: the Ambivalent Ageism Scale (AAS). DESIGN AND METHODS: We employed four stages of scale development and validation. In Stage 1, we created 41 benevolent ageist items adapted from existing ageism measures...
August 12, 2016: Gerontologist
Sheri R Levy
The population of older adults is growing worldwide. Negative ageism (negative attitudes and behavior toward older adults) is a serious international concern that negatively influences not only older adults but also individuals across the age continuum. This article proposes and examines the application of an integrative theoretical model across empirical evidence in the literature on ageism in psychology, medicine, social work, and sociology. The proposed Positive Education about Aging and Contact Experiences (PEACE) model focuses on 2 key contributing factors expected to reduce negative ageism: (a) education about aging including facts on aging along with positive older role models that dispel negative and inaccurate images of older adulthood; and (b) positive contact experiences with older adults that are individualized, provide or promote equal status, are cooperative, involve sharing of personal information, and are sanctioned within the setting...
August 10, 2016: Gerontologist
Toni Calasanti, Neal King, Ilkka Pietilä, Hanna Ojala
PURPOSE: We explore the motivations of middle-aged consumers of anti-aging products and services in relation to aging, health, and appearance. Admission of use of anti-aging products and services could align a respondent with a stigmatized group, old people, and also connotes a feminine concern with aesthetics. For these reasons, people, particularly men, will be unlikely to report using them for this purpose. DESIGN AND METHODS: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted among 19 men and women aged 42-61 years...
August 9, 2016: Gerontologist
Ruth Ray Karpen
Popular literature often claims that baby boom women will "redefine" retirement, and there is some evidence in the gerontological literature that this may be true. However, considerably more research needs to be done on this generation of retirees. The author, a baby boomer herself, draws on recent research on retirement and her own experiences in early retirement to examine what a "good retirement" might mean, considering the diversity of baby boomers, the range of their experiences, and their relationship to work...
August 9, 2016: Gerontologist
Laura M Koehly
My research program considers family relationships across the life course: in early life, with a focus on disease prevention-leveraging genetic risk information and relationships to motivate health-promoting behaviors-and in later life, with a focus on informal caregiving-identifying characteristics of those most vulnerable to, or resilient from, caregiver stress. It is fortuitous, if not tragic, then, that my research and personal worlds collided during my mother's final 8 months of life. Here, I discuss how this experience has shifted my thinking within both arms of my research program...
August 9, 2016: Gerontologist
Susan M Hannum
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: With nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors currently alive in the United States, it is expected this will rise to roughly 19 million by 2024. As more people will age with a history of cancer than ever before, it is important to consider how experiences of cancer affect the life course through the bending of time and its interpretation. As such, aging as a cancer survivor must be at the forefront of health maintenance across the life course. DESIGN AND METHODS: Through reference to my own cancer experiences in an auto-ethnographic format, this article interprets the illness experience as co-occurring in a young, aging body...
August 9, 2016: Gerontologist
Robert M Kaiser, Susan L Kaiser
As professionals in geriatric medicine and social work, we are caregivers for our widowed mother of 90 years, a woman with neurocognitive disorder and multiple medical conditions. She has had repeated, problematic encounters with the health care system over the past 4 years. Caring successfully for an aging parent requires a comprehensive understanding of her unique medical, psychological, and functional status; need for social support; and overall goals of care. Poor communication between and among clinical teams-and with patients and families-is ubiquitous...
August 6, 2016: Gerontologist
Lisa Fredman
Shortly after I received my first R01 grant to study the health effects of caregiving, my sister and I became caregivers to our father. For the next 13 years, we helped him with activities of daily living (ADLs), accompanied him to doctors' appointments, arranged for home health care, and finally for home hospice. At first, I was able to connect our assistance with ADLs, frustration with coordinating his care, and our psychological stress with my epidemiologic studies. My familiarity with the language of caregiving and long-term care helped us to navigate the medical and home care systems, and to be advocates for my father...
August 6, 2016: Gerontologist
Sarah B Laditka
My father moved from his home of 92 years to a care community in a distant location. This is the story of his move, from the perspective of a gerontologist and soon-to-be young-old daughter. I describe the events that prompted my father's decision to make the move, how I chose the care community, the transition arrangements, and the outcomes. I discuss key factors that contributed to the successful transition, all with a focus on readiness. Other factors included drawing on my knowledge as a gerontologist, using informal networks to identify a care community, visiting the care community repeatedly, and communicating openly and often with family...
August 6, 2016: Gerontologist
Maud Ranchet, Mark Tant, Abiodun E Akinwuntan, John C Morgan, Hannes Devos
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: We sought to investigate the agreement between medical and practical fitness-to-drive recommendations in active drivers with dementia. DESIGN AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, 68 patients underwent medical, visual, and road tests at an official center of the Belgian Road Safety Institute. Physicians provided medical fitness-to-drive recommendations using 1 of 3 categories (favorable, reserved, or unfavorable). On-road assessors used the same 3 categories to make practical fitness-to-drive recommendations...
August 5, 2016: Gerontologist
Suzie S Weng, Scott D Landes
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Home health aides (HHAs) provide valuable resources to address existing and predicted needs for taking care of the aging population. Both the older adult and healthcare provider populations in the United States are becoming increasingly diverse. The study examined the effect of culture and language discordance between HHAs and their patients or coworkers on worker outcomes. DESIGN AND METHODS: Data from this study were from the 2007 National Home Health Aide Survey...
August 5, 2016: Gerontologist
Elizabeth Hames, Justin Stoler, Christopher T Emrich, Sweta Tewary, Naushira Pandya
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: We define, map, and analyze geodemographic patterns of socially and medically vulnerable older adults within the tri-county region of South Florida. DESIGN AND METHODS: We apply principal components analysis (PCA) to a set of previously identified indicators of social and medical vulnerability at the census tract level. We create and map age-stratified vulnerability scores using a geographic information system (GIS), and use spatial analysis techniques to identify patterns and interactions between social and medical vulnerability...
August 5, 2016: Gerontologist
Jamila Bookwala
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The present study examined the role of stability and change in the availability of a family member and a friend as a confidant in older adults' emotional well-being. METHOD: Participants in two waves of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 4,631; M = 64.3, 53.7% female) were assessed on depressive symptoms and the availability of a family member and friend as confidant. Using mixed linear effects models, four groups were compared over time and across gender on depressive symptoms: those with and without a family/friend confidant at both waves and those who lost and gained a family/friend confidant...
August 4, 2016: Gerontologist
Celeste M Greene, Jennifer Craft Morgan, LaVona S Traywick, Chivon A Mingo
BACKGROUND: Despite health benefits of physical activity (PA) and risks of physical inactivity, many older adults do not accumulate sufficient levels of PA to achieve associated health benefits. Lack of PA enjoyment may be a barrier to PA participation. Combining simulated laughter and PA for strength, balance, and flexibility is a potential solution for helping older adults maintain independence in activities of daily living through enjoyable participation in PA. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The purpose of this study is to assess whether combining simulated laughter exercises with a moderate-intensity strength, balance, and flexibility PA program (i...
August 4, 2016: Gerontologist
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