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The Journal on Active Aging brings articles of value to professionals dedicated to older-adult quality of life. Content sweeps across the active-aging landscape to focus on education and practice. Find articles of interest by searching the article archives in three ways: Enter a keyword in the articles search bar; click on search by topic; or type a keyword or phrase in the general search bar at the top of the page.

Topic- Research

 

Steven Blair: a renowned researcher inspires the active-aging industry-4475

Steven Blair: a renowned researcher inspires the active-aging industry

In 2012, when considering who to recognize with the second annual ICAA INSPIRE Award, CEO Colin Milner chose a researcher whose studies have had a tremendous impact, whose service as an ICAA Advisory Board Member has helped advance the industry, and whose support for the association predates its launch: Steven N. Blair, PED.

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Research

Higher-intensity interval training moves to the pool by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, FACSM, RCEP-3572

Higher-intensity interval training moves to the pool by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, FACSM, RCEP

Are your participants short on time? Recommend a quick, low-impact run in the pool to squeeze out the health benefits of higher-intensity interval training (HIIT). Interval training alternates bursts of high energy with low-energy recovery cycles. Research suggests this kind of approach offers a viable, shorter alternative to higher volume, continuous aerobic exercise. Depending on a person’s fitness level and objective, the intermittent work and recovery bouts in HIIT may last seconds to minutes. Pool training provides opportunities to gear up, or down, intensity on demand by capturing water’s natural resistance. And a simple walk, jog or run can be performed with vigor in cool liquid comfort.

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Access to nature boosts physical activity among older adults, saves staff time by Susan Rodiek, Ph.D., NCARB-1834

Access to nature boosts physical activity among older adults, saves staff time by Susan Rodiek, Ph.D., NCARB

On September 13, 2010, my colleagues and I were gratified to receive a professional award from the American Society of Landscape Architects at the society’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. That award, and the recognition our team has received from numerous organizations that provide long-term care to older adults, reinforced the value of the time and effort we put into developing an instrument that makes environmental evaluations of assisted living communities more quantifiable and reliable, and enables providers to compare satisfaction-related outcomes associated with physical environments.

We developed the instrument based on seven key principles that evaluate specific environmental qualities in assisted living communities (For more information, see Principles for outdoor areas that encourage resident participation on page XX). We then identified up to 10 ratable items that appeared to be the main components of each principle, resulting in a total of 63 individual items, which we used in the evaluation tool. After evaluating 68 randomly selected communities in various parts of the United States, and surveying 1,560 residents and staff, we identified a number of landscape features that were strongly associated with outdoor usage.

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Gray, green, and active: Environmental volunteerism benefits older adults and society by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D.-1819

Gray, green, and active: Environmental volunteerism benefits older adults and society by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D.

Martin Phillips volunteers many hours each month in local environmental organizations, helping to organize trail clean-ups and testing water quality in streams. His goal is to help preserve the earth for future generations, even though he will not personally see the benefits. Maria Groves volunteers as a receptionist for a nature center, noting that she enjoys the children who participate in the programs and socializing with staff and other volunteers. Janice Phelps has always loved being outside in nature; her political work on environmental issues comes from a deep attachment to the natural world, which she feels is sacred and must be preserved. John Trent is politically conservative and will tell you right away: “I’m no tree-hugger!” But he has spent a lifetime hunting and fishing and is concerned about the destruction of natural areas that used to teem with wildlife, so he volunteers to protect them.

These individuals pursue different activities and have divergent motivations. But they have one thing in common: They are part of a growing movement of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond who have become environmental volunteers, working to create a sustainable society and to conserve our natural resources. Not only do these “gray and green” volunteers help solve one of the major challenges of our time, but research shows environmental volunteering also leads to improved health and well-being of older persons. Now researchers, policy makers, and non-profit organizations are seeking ways to encourage environmental volunteering and civic engagement (EVCE) among individuals after retirement.

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Research

Cognitive rehabilitation and memory enhancement: evidence-based interventions for older adults by Rob Winningham, PhD-1518

Cognitive rehabilitation and memory enhancement: evidence-based interventions for older adults by Rob Winningham, PhD

There is a lot of advice out there about how we can keep our minds sharp. People take fad supplements, play video games designed to improve brain functioning, and, of course, complete crossword puzzles. Many of the things people use to improve their memories, however, are not supported by scientific research. The good news is, if you look at the bigger picture, there are behaviors and interventions supported by research, and they can be succinctly summarized.

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Research

ICAA survey: trends in design for wellness by Patricia Ryan, MS-1424

ICAA survey: trends in design for wellness by Patricia Ryan, MS

These are interesting times for providers of services for older adults. The population of “older adults” is already a huge marketplace, and growing. In 2009, along came the economic recession. The income of the oldest adults remains steady, the Baby Boomers have been hit financially, the very poor older adults are still poor, and the wealthy older adults are keeping quiet.

Providers of housing and services—retirement communities, community/seniors centers, some health clubs and hospitals—realize the value of supporting the lifestyles of older adults as well as promoting health and healthcare. Yet, financing has been a challenge over these last years, as banks tightened lending, grantors found their endowments reduced, and governments discovered they were in the red. Like the rest of the people in developed nations, older adults themselves have been somewhat frozen in time, unwilling to lose equity by selling their homes or focused on survival as they slipped into reduced incomes from unemployment. Aging in place has become a hot topic to meet personal preferences as well the reality that the number of older adults in the population requires it.

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Total items: 36

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