OBJECTIVE: To analyze the behavior of blood pressure and heart rate in elderly people practicing physical exercises in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.
METHODS: 70 elderly volunteers were evaluated, 41 women and 29 men, with a mean age of 67.2 ± 6.6 and 65.9 ± 12.3 years, respectively. They performed three minutes of exercise on the selected equipment, evaluated by means of a frequency meter and by the auscultatory method, with the aid of a sphygmomanometer.
RESULTS: High heart rate values were recorded in the multi-exerciser. In both the heart rate and the blood pressure, there were significant differences in the means of the values found in the initial evaluation, compared to the means of the final evaluation (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Blood pressure rises within the physiological limits established for the elderly, and these activities may be considered safe for this population.
Keywords: heart rate; motor activity; aging; health promotion.
OBJECTIVES: To identify factors that interfere with performance in cognitive tests frequently used for non-demented elderly in clinical practice.
METHOD: Sample composed of 213 individuals, mean age 72.9 ± 6.1 years. The following assessment instruments were applied: Geriatric Depression Scale; Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE); Verbal Paired Associates tests I and II (VPA) from the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS); Direct and Reverse Order Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III); Simple Reaction Time (SRT), and Tower of Hanoi. A multiple linear regression model was used to verify interaction between dependent and independent variables.
RESULTS: For the most part, the tests were not significantly influenced when adjusted for gender, marital status, depressive symptoms or use of psychotropic drugs. Significant interference of schooling and age on performance in applied cognitive tests was pointed out. There was a high correlation between MMSE scores and schooling, with a 1-point increase in the value obtained in the test for every four years of schooling (p < 0.0001). Results of shortand long-term memory tests were also significantly influenced by schooling (p = 0.0001, p = 0.02, respectively). Low schooling had a negative influence on attention performance according to SRT, significantly increasing reaction time (p = 0.002), error percentage (p = 0.01) and proportion of false alarms (p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Our study found out a significant influence of age and schooling on performance of non-demented elderly in cognitive tests assessing overall performance, short- and long-term memory, attention, cognitive flexibility, and processing speed.
Keywords: cognition; memory; aged; educational status; neuropsychological tests.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the construct validity of the Brazilian version of the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ-BR), which measures the functional capacity of the elderly, based on an informant’s report.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed with 525 non-hospitalized elderly and their respective informants. Pearson’s and Kendall’s tau correlation coefficients with a statistical significance level of < 0.05 were used to evaluate the correlation between the FAQ-BR score and sociodemographic and health condition variables.
RESULTS: All correlations were compatible with the underlying theory, with a statistical significance (p value < 0.001): age (r = 0.522); income (r = - 0.148); years of schooling (r = - 0.191); living alone (r = - 0.175); self-rated health (r = - 0.149); chronic self-reported diseases (r = 0.125) and; cognitive impairment (r = 0.350).
CONCLUSION: Although the FAQ-BR demonstrates construct validity, future complementary studies should be done to further measure elderly people’s functional capacity, based on an informant’s report.
Keywords: elderly people’s health; activities of daily living; evaluation of research programs and tools; validation studies.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to assess the effect of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on functional capacity (FC) and quality of life (QoL) in elderly men with low bone mineral density (BMD).
METHODS: This quasi-experimental, controlled blinded trial evaluated 41 senior men (≥ 60 years), divided into two groups: control group 1 – G1 (TCC; n = 20; 69.2 ± 6.2 years) and control group 2 – G2 (control; n = 21; 69.0 ± 5.7 years). The BMD (of lumbar spine and femur neck) was assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). FC was assessed for aerobic endurance, for upper and lower limbs strength and flexibility, for static, dynamic and functional balance testes, and for risk of falls. QoL was assessed by the SF-36 questionnaire (MOS 36-item Short-Form Health Survey). G1 practiced the 24-form Yang style of TCC, for 12 weeks twice a week on low intensity; G2 did not practice oriented physical activity.
RESULTS: TCC practitioners had significantly higher scores for aerobic endurance, upper and lower limbs strength, and dynamic balance. In terms of QoL, values were significantly better in total score and aspects such as FC, general health, vitality, and mental health.
DISCUSSION: TCC was proven beneficial to FC and QoL scores, which adds evidence for its practice by elderly men with low BMD.
CONCLUSION: TCC training is effective in improving FC and QoL in elderly men with low BMD.
Keywords: tai chi chuan; aged; osteoporosis; quality of life.
INTRODUCTION: Increase in longevity has caused new demands for health and social development, which in turn points to the need for changes in service structures, health programs, and professional education.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relation between health promotion in care networks and the intersectorial perspective on senior care.
METHODS: This descriptiveexploratory research project was carried out in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte (RMBH), Minas Gerais, Brazil. Among the 34 cities considered, 10 met the inclusion criteria and took part in the study, i.e. cities with two or more long-stay institutions for seniors (ILPI) in their region.
RESULTS: An analysis of interviews enabled the establishment of two categories: “policies and healthcare network for seniors” and “the articulation of health promotion and intersectoriality in senior care.” The analyses pointed out differences between the cities with regard to the implementation of national policies and the existence of a guiding document, the difficulty of including seniors in the healthcare network, the decrease in health promotion, and the difficulties and propensities for intersectoriality.
CONCLUSIONS: Even though regulation laws for seniors have significantly advanced during the last few years, they were not properly implemented in most of the researched cities. In addition, there is no specific health network for senior care, which is done through Primary Healthcare. With regard to health promotion, actions focused on seniors are specific and isolated, which come from a conceptual reduction of this term.
Keywords: aging; intersectoriality; health promotion.
Hoarding disorder (HD) can be defined as a persistent difficulty with the disposal of items due to the suffering associated with the elimination or the perceived need to keep them, regardless of their real value. In the elderly, HD is related to another condition called domestic squalor. Accumulation is associated with a specific form of pathological self-neglect in this population referred as Diogenes syndrome (DS), which consists of extremely poor hygiene and inability to maintain adequate self-care routines, along with compulsive collectionism. The authors describe a case of HD, referred here as DS, in an elderly patient, emphasizing the importance of early detection, differential diagnosis, investigation, multidisciplinary intervention, and pharmacotherapy.
Keywords: syndrome; Diogenes; hoarding; self-neglect.
The growth in world ageing is associated with an increase in life expectancy particularly in persons of more advanced ages, which expands the number of older persons with chronic-degenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Such individuals require specialized treatment and care. They challenge medical practice because they present multidimensional health conditions, notably cognitive impairment, which irreversibly compromises their autonomy, one of the pillars of Bioethics. In this context, this study was conducted so that, in proceeding with the search of theories, we could reflect on the loss of autonomy of the person with dementia, considering Advance Directives as an instrument provinding protection and assurance that the person’s wishes will be complied with in the future. The methodology chosen was qualitative health research centered in a reflexive investigation, promoting a dialogue between biomedical facts and bioethical frameworks. For the review of literature, we examined to books and journals posted on PubMed and LILACS databases over the past 10 years. We have discussed the pertinence of Advance Directives as a successful construct of our civilization for prioritizing the autonomy of the individual and ensuring the full exercise of their rights as citizens. This instrument should be created by health older individuals prior to the development of cognitive impairment that may occur in keeping with demographic and epidemiological data. In the progressive course of dementia, even in its early stages, the recording of the person’s wishes about what they want or not for themselves in terms of treatment and care is not reliable. In the conclusion of our study, we propose that Geriatrics and Bioethics be connected, so that qualified practitioners could guide older people and their family in an in-depth reflection about health and disease, autonomy and impairment, so that they can make their wishes count in an uncertain future, when they may no longer be able to make this choice themselves.
Keywords: ageing; older people; dementia; Alzheimer’s Disease; autonomy; advance directives; living will.