International Journal of Aging Research


The Impact of COVID-19 on Informal Caregivers in the US

Review Article of International Journal of Aging Research The Impact of COVID-19 on Informal Caregivers in the US Stephanie MacLeod, MS1, Rifky Tkatch, PhD1, Sandra Kraemer, MSW2, Annette Fellows, MBA2, Michael McGinn, BS1, James Schaeffer, RPh1, and Charlotte S. Yeh, MD3 1Research for Aging Populations, OptumLabs, 2UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, 3AARP Services, Inc. Background: Caregiver burden has negative effects on mental and physical health along with quality of life. Meanwhile, social and physical distancing protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic have created additional impacts on informal caregiving in a rapidly changing environment. Early research over the past year suggests that the pandemic has caused increased caregiver burden as well as caregiving intensity among these individuals. Purpose: Our primary purpose in this informational literature review is to describe the impacts of the pandemic on informal caregiver burden and the sudden shift in roles and responsibilities as a result of pandemic-related changes in caregiving. This review will describe emerging effects on various aspects of health among informal caregivers and explore the growing need to support unpaid caregiving during this time. Methods: A streamlined search was conducted to fit the scope of this review, with key terms determined to identify relevant publications. Common research databases and up-to-date mainstream resources were utilized. Notably, we focused on research published or released since March 2020, primarily rapidly reviewed studies, to align with the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Results: Early research suggests that the pandemic has worsened caregiver burden and increased caregiving intensity and hours of care among unpaid, informal family caregivers. Reported health impacts include higher stress, pain, and depression, along with decreased social connectedness and quality of life. Notably, however, COVID-related research generally does not focus on the positive aspects of caregiving, such as its role as a source of purpose in ...

The Effects of A Cognitive Training Program for Older Adults: A Brief Preliminary Report

Research Article of International Journal of Aging Research The Effects of A Cognitive Training Program for Older Adults: A Brief Preliminary Report Nathan Jensen, Caroline Kinskey, and Jeffrey Buchanan Minnesota State University – Mankato As one ages, some degree of cognitive decline is expected. Despite this, declines in cognitive abilities and the possibility of dementia is a common concern among older adults. In response to these concerns, a variety of cognitive training programs have been developed that aim to improve or maintain cognitive functioning. Prior literature has shown mixed or limited findings on cognitive changes after implementation of cognitive training. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive training program designed for older adults with no to minimal cognitive decline. The current study included 17 participants who engaged in two one-hour cognitive training sessions each week for 12 weeks. Each session required participants to complete activities that targeted the following cognitive domains: attention, visual and verbal memory, visual spatial skills, processing speed and executive functioning, and language. These cognitive domains, along with depression and memory self-efficacy, were assessed prior to and immediately after completion of the program. Small to large effect sizes on the majority of cognitive outcome measures were observed following participation in the program. Small reductions in depressive symptoms were also found. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of a comprehensive cognitive training program for cognitively-intact older adults. Keywords: aging, older adults, cognitive interventions, cognitive assessment, cognitive training ...

Epithelial tissue response to pathological effects in various age groups. Participation of morphofunctional zones and Src-kinase in this process

Review Article of International Journal of Aging Research Epithelial tissue response to pathological effects in various age groups. Participation of morphofunctional zones and Src-kinase in this process Tatiana Yavisheva1*, PhD, ScD and Sergey Shcherbakov2, PhD, ScD 1,2JSC “R-Pharm”, scientific laboratory of mechanisms of stem cells regulation, Moscow, Russian Federation The response of human organism tissues to various pathological effects depends to a large extent on the presence of the total amount of key protein in the organism - Src-kinase and the ratio of its active part to inactive. With a sharp preponderance of an inactive portion of this protein over the active, the proliferative activity of cells is suppressed, and with a significant preponderance of the active part, proliferation is inadequately increased. The amount of this protein is embedded in embryogenesis and individually in each person. In the age aspect, a decrease in the Src-kinase content in the human organism is observed. The epithelial tissue of two age groups: 20-40 and 75 years and older responds most acutely to pathological effects, including the entering of viruses, since in 20-40 years the number of Src-kinase is the greatest in relation to other age groups, and in 75 years and older - the least, which causes a decrease in the reactivity of organism tissues or, conversely, hyperactivity. Keywords: Epithelial response; Labile groups 20-40 and 75 years and older; Pathological effects; Src-kinase ...

Older Adults’ Engagement in Mindfulness Practices

Research Article of International Journal of Aging Research Older Adults’ Engagement in Mindfulness Practices Neha Shivhare1, David Kaufman2 1City University of Seattle 2Simon Fraser University There is substantial evidence to suggest that mindfulness practices positively affect older adults’ physical, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing. However, there is still little information available about the interest and inclination among older adults for performing mindfulness-related exercises. We conducted a survey study aimed at exploring the prevalence of older adults engaged in such activities. Data were collected from 174 older adults (Males: 48; Females:126) who responded using a self-constructed survey, and analyzed using SPSS. Results indicate that almost two-thirds of older adult respondents engage in at least one mindfulness practice and almost a third engage in more than one, with meditation, deep breathing, and yoga being the most prevalent. Keywords: Older Adults’ Engagement; Mindfulness Practices ...

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