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In this paper, CuCr–Zr alloys prepared by vacuum melting with adding La and Ni elementswere heat-treated and aged, followed by plastic deformation using low-energy cyclic impact tests, to simultaneously improve their mechanical and electrical properties. Results showed that the grain size of the casted Cu–Cr–Zr alloys was significantly reduced after the solid-solution aging and plastic deformation process. There were a lot of dispersed Cr and Cu5Zr precipitates formed in the alloys, and the numbers of dislocations were significantly increased. Accordingly, the hardness was increased from 78 to 232 HV, and the tensile strength was increased from 225 to 691 MPa. Electrical conductivity has not been significantly affected after these processes. The enhancement of overall performance is mainly attributed to the combined effects of solid-solution hardening, fine grain hardening, and precipitation/dislocation strengthening.
The purpose of this study was to update our understandings of older adults’ experiences and perceptions of alcohol use. Taking a community-based research approach, three Knowledge Café workshops hosted 66 older adults and service providers in Vancouver, BC. Thematic analysis identified three overarching categories: (a) reasons older adults use alcohol, including out of habit, social expectations, or to self-medicate; (b) personal experiences of alcohol use, including reduced consumption over time as a result of the cost of alcohol, the physical effects, and increased knowledge about the effects of alcohol; and (c) older adults’ perceptions of alcohol use outcomes, including positive outcomes from drinking in moderation and negative outcomes that can worsen one’s health, lead to tolerance, and harm others. Developing and promoting healthy drinking behaviours in later life is needed as the general population continues to age.
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with poorer cognitive function in older adults. Although understudied in middle-aged adults, the relationship between alcohol and cognition may also be influenced by genetics such as the apolipoprotein (ApoE) ε4 allele, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We examined the relationship between alcohol consumption, ApoE genotype, and cognition in middle-aged adults and hypothesized that light and/or moderate drinkers (≤2 drinks per day) would show better cognitive performance than heavy drinkers or non-drinkers. Additionally, we hypothesized that the association between alcohol use and cognitive function would differ by ApoE genotype (ε4+ vs. ε4−).
Participants were 1266 men from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA; M age = 56; range 51–60) who completed a neuropsychological battery assessing seven cognitive abilities: general cognitive ability (GCA), episodic memory, processing speed, executive function, abstract reasoning, verbal fluency, and visuospatial ability. Alcohol consumption was categorized into five groups: never, former, light, moderate, and heavy.
In fully adjusted models, there was no significant main effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive functions. However, there was a significant interaction between alcohol consumption and ApoE ε4 status for GCA and episodic memory, such that the relationship of alcohol consumption and cognition was stronger in ε4 carriers. The ε4+ heavy drinking subgroup had the poorest GCA and episodic memory.
Presence of the ε4 allele may increase vulnerability to the deleterious effects of heavy alcohol consumption. Beneficial effects of light or moderate alcohol consumption were not observed.
We present the development of a regional dementia strategy in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. We worked with stakeholders in a regional health authority to develop a dementia strategy. We conducted interviews with persons with dementia and their care partners (n = 26) and health care administrators and policy makers (n = 33); and administered a priority-setting survey (n = 64). Both participant groups identified provider compassion, professionalism, and care in the early stages of dementia as system strengths. Both groups also highlighted a need for more integration and coordination, a need for more person-centred care, support for care partners, and more flexibility in the provision and receipt of services. The highest-ranked priorities were improving care partner support, improving access to care, and improving system-wide quality. We integrate these strengths, needs, and priorities in a strategic framework, “Whole Person, Whole Journey”. Organizations developing a dementia strategy may use this framework as a springboard for their own work.
Based on findings from a study examining the lived experiences of dementia carers in their neighbourhoods, this article offers a vision of what dementia-friendly communities could look like from a carer perspective and in a Canadian context. Twelve carers in Ottawa and its surrounding regions were interviewed using a combination of social network maps, mobile interviews, and participant-driven photography. The findings, organized according to the categories “relationships”, “places”, and “everyday practices”, reveal that many of the carers’ choices regarding businesses, services, home location, outings, and everyday practices, are based on a desire to maintain social connections and social citizenship. The article concludes with recommendations for consideration in the planning of dementia-friendly neighbourhood initiatives.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are known for predicting accelerated aging. However, it has not been examined whether individuals are subjectively aware of this process. The present study examined whether PTSD symptoms predict subjective accelerated aging and whether positive mental health status moderates this relationship. One hundred and thirty-two community-dwelling older adults (M = 66.85, SD = 9.13) who were sampled through random dialing of Jewish residents in the south of Israel completed the questionnaire twice: At Wave 1 after the flare-up of an Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and at Wave 2, a year later. Participants reported their PTSD symptoms, positive mental health, and on their subjective accelerated aging a year later. Higher levels of PTSD symptoms and lower levels of positive mental health were separately related to increased subjective accelerated aging. Participants with a lower level of positive mental health demonstrated a stronger association between PTSD symptoms and subjective accelerated aging. These findings emphasize that individuals who suffer from higher levels of PTSD symptoms and specifically those with lower levels of positive mental health status tend to feel they are aging faster. This finding adds to previous research suggesting that alongside the physiological process of accelerated aging there is also a subjective similar process.
The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence (AI) is to develop technologies that are best able to serve humanity. This will require advancements that go beyond the basic components of general intelligence. The term “intelligence” does not best represent the technological needs of advancing society, because it is “wisdom”, rather than intelligence, that is associated with greater well-being, happiness, health, and perhaps even longevity of the individual and the society. Thus, the future need in technology is for artificial wisdom (AW).
We examine the constructs of human intelligence and human wisdom in terms of their basic components, neurobiology, and relationship to aging, based on published empirical literature. We review the development of AI as inspired and driven by the model of human intelligence, and consider possible governing principles for AW that would enable humans to develop computers which can operationally utilize wise principles and result in wise acts. We review relevant examples of current efforts to develop such wise technologies.
AW systems will be based on developmental models of the neurobiology of human wisdom. These AW systems need to be able to a) learn from experience and self-correct; b) exhibit compassionate, unbiased, and ethical behaviors; and c) discern human emotions and help the human users to regulate their emotions and make wise decisions.
A close collaboration among computer scientists, neuroscientists, mental health experts, and ethicists is necessary for developing AW technologies, which will emulate the qualities of wise humans and thus serve the greatest benefit to humanity. Just as human intelligence and AI have helped further the understanding and usefulness of each other, human wisdom and AW can aid in promoting each other’s growth
Case-Finding for Complex Chronic Conditions in Seniors 75+ (C5-75) is a systematic approach to identify frailty using gait speed and hand-grip strength and to screen for co-morbid conditions. We identified the C5-75 features offering the highest yield for identifying frailty and to streamline the screening program. Analyses included 1,948 C5-75 assessments completed from 2013 to 2018. Age 85 or older, less than regular physical activity, and more than two falls in the previous six months had the strongest associations with frailty. Exempting patients under 85 who reported regular physical activity and less than two falls excluded 39.1 per cent of the cohort while maintaining a sensitivity of 95.2 per cent and a negative predictive value of 99.4 per cent for frailty. These findings provide insight into optimizing screening for frailty, making it more feasible to implement and to identify co-existing conditions that may contribute to or be affected by frailty.
This article uses findings from qualitative interviews to examine the experiences of members of Saskatoon’s Chinese-Canadian older-adult community in terms of their realities of aging and access to important geriatric resources. Promoting an understanding of both group experience and a broader conceptualization of age-friendly development, we argue that the notion and implications of a spatial ethnic enclave are replaced in the Saskatoon context by a social enclave. This network of social support is evident in Chinese-Canadian older adults’ access to housing, recreation, transportation, and health services. The article concludes with lessons learned that would help enhance culturally pluralistic age-friendly development. This work underlines the significance of social capital development within more marginalized older-adult communities, both as a reaction to outside discrimination, and as a means of ensuring healthy and inclusive community aging.
Over the past two hundred years the average global life expectancy has increased from just over thirty years of age to well over seventy years of age. There are many reasons for this ranging from the eradication of certain diseases, life style changes and improvements in public health. As people have lived longer, so they have worked longer, and this is reflected in the changing demographic of the workforce. However, notwithstanding this increase in life expectancy the aging process can takes in toll in terms of cognitive and functional decline which may have an impact on the ability of the older person to perform satisfactorily in the workplace. Where this involves physicians and surgeons there is obvious concern for patient safety.
The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of hearing loss (HL), vision loss (VL), and dual sensory loss (DSL) in Canadians 45–85 years of age. Audiometry and visual acuity were measured. Various levels of impairment severity were described. Results were extrapolated to the 2016 Canadian population. In 2016, 1,500,000 Canadian males 45–85 years of age had at least mild HL, 1,800,000 had at least mild VL, and 570,000 had DSL. Among females, 1,200,000 had at least mild HL, 2,200,000 had at least mild VL, and 450,000 had DSL. Among Canadians 45–85 years of age, mild, moderate, and severe HL was prevalent among 13.4 per cent, 3.7 per cent, and 0.4 per cent of males, and among 11.3 per cent, 2.3 per cent, and 0.2 per cent of females, respectively. Mild and moderate, or severe VL was prevalent among 19.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent of males, and among 23.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent of females, respectively. At least mild DSL was prevalent among 6.4 per cent of males and 6.1 per cent of females.
Systematic, in-depth exploration of news media coverage of aggression and older adults remains sparse, with little attention to how and why particular frames manifest in coverage across differing settings and relationships. Frame analysis was used to analyze 141 English-language Canadian news media articles published between 2008 and 2019. Existing coverage tended towards stigmatizing, fear-inducing, and biomedical framings of aggression, yet also reflected and reinforced ambiguity, most notably around key differences between settings and relations of care. Mainstream news coverage reflects tensions in public understandings of aggression and older adults (e.g., as a medical or criminal issue), reinforced in particular ways because of the nature of news reporting. More nuanced coverage would advance understanding of differences among settings, relationships, and types of actions, and of the need for multifaceted prevention and policy responses based on these differences.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent state of public emergency have significantly affected older adults in Canada and worldwide. It is imperative that the gerontological response be efficient and effective. In this statement, the board members of the Canadian Association on Gerontology/L’Association canadienne de gérontologie (CAG/ACG) and the Canadian Journal on Aging/La revue canadienne du vieillissement (CJA/RCV) acknowledge the contributions of CAG/ACG members and CJA/RCV readers. We also profile the complex ways that COVID-19 is affecting older adults, from individual to population levels, and advocate for the adoption of multidisciplinary collaborative teams to bring together different perspectives, areas of expertise, and methods of evaluation in the COVID-19 response.
This study explored family caregivers’ use of technology to care for people with dementia living at home. Three questions were pursued: (1) what are the important, unmet needs of family caregivers, (2) how do they use technologies to assist in care tasks, and (3) what do health care providers know about caregivers’ needs and technology use? Two comprehensive surveys were developed to answer these questions: one for family caregivers (n = 33), and one for health care providers (n = 60). Descriptive and quantitative analyses showed that caregivers’ important, unmet needs were in the domains of information, formal services, and emotional support. Caregivers make limited use of technology but believe in its potential usefulness. Health care providers agree that technology is useful in dementia care; however, they underestimate caregivers’ willingness to adopt technologies to communicate with providers. Findings prove caregiver willingness to use technology to support their care role and provide guidance regarding the caregiver needs that these technologies should address.
Cognition changes with age, and the amount and trajectory of change varies across individuals and functions. In this review, we argue that three general principles characterize adult life-span changes in brain and cognition. (1) Dimensionality: Many features of brain and cognition in aging and neurodegenerative disease represent quantitative differences along a continuum and are not unique to pathology. (2) Early influences – developmental origins of health and disease: Genetic dispositions and early environmental factors, likely even from fetal life, can have lasting impact on the brain and cognition. (3) Influences from a multitude of environmental factors: Current brain state and cognitive function will be determined by a combination of early factors and later environmental influences, often in interaction. These principles entail a model of age-associated cognitive decline and dementia based on dimensions rather than categories, life span rather than aging, and multidimensional systems-vulnerability rather than one major “biomarker.”
Sense of control over one’s life declines in the later portion of the life span, which is not surprising in the face of increased losses and decreased gains associated with aging. Unfortunately, the maintenance of sense of control is a key indicator of successful aging while low control beliefs are a risk factor for poor aging-related outcomes, such as lower concurrent and subsequent cognitive functioning. The simultaneous focus on the person and the environment is an important characteristic of research on control beliefs. We synthesize the state of the field and discuss the current understanding of the complex interplay of control beliefs and cognition. In addition, we propose that awareness of aging, which is the subjective interpretation of aging, may be an important future direction to elucidate the control-cognition relationships.
With world population senescence and globalization, more present-day older adults will evince cognitive aging that is influenced over a longer life span by a wide range of social practices and motivational beliefs from cultural groups across the world. Although there is no dispute that brain structure and function aggregate biological and experiential influences, a useful framework is still needed regarding the specific neural mechanisms underlying the exchange between biology and experience with age, and the effect on cognition. We introduce a predictive coding framework of the aging cognitive brain that views the older brain as making predictions about the environment based on a lifetime of experience in it. The influence of cultural experiences in shaping the aging predictive brain then reflects individual differences in processing social signals about appropriate or inappropriate behaviors and cognitive styles amid neural resources changes. We briefly annotate relevant findings on age effects and cultural differences in neurocognitive processing. We further review findings showing that cultural cognitive differences are present in children, persist in young adulthood, and are either maintained or accentuated in older adulthood. Finally, we consider that the predictive aging brain is an enculturated one, reflecting the accumulation of a lifetime of experiences that have fortified culture-specific modes of thought and neural processing in older adults.
Decline and deterioration are prominent features of cognitive aging. Against this background, successful cognitive aging is usually conceptualized as buffering, protecting against, or compensating for disrupted neural integrity in the aged brain. Here we review evidence for a parallel dynamic, comprising a life course trajectory of neuroadaptive plasticity, extending from gene expression to cognitive organization. The encouraging implication is that, alongside the search for treatments that target mechanisms of decline, designing interventions to promote neuroadaptive aging may be a feasible alternative.
The personal past is a critical aspect of identity in adulthood, especially in the later phases of life. This chapter reviews theories and empirical evidence on how personal memories are reconstructed over time in life stories. It starts with a historical overview, next describes the functional approach that focuses on why people remember, continues with the self-memory system that provides insight in how specific memories are related to the self-concept, and finally adds a narrative perspective on how people attribute meaning to their past. The chapter takes a life-span developmental approach with a particular focus on later life. It is concluded that the construction of meaning in personal stories about the past is a ubiquitous and adaptive process. Processes of evaluation and reinterpretation of personal memories enable people to maintain a sense of self and share with others the biographical story of how their unique life has unfolded.
Life-span theory has long emphasized that cognitive functioning and well-being are key constituents of successful development and aging. There is mounting empirical evidence that these central domains of life are closely intertwined, with better performance on a number of cognitive ability tests going hand in hand with higher levels of well-being and satisfaction. Less well understood, however, are the multiple different sets of pathways that underlie how and why well-being either represents a consequence of cognitive functioning and development or operates as an antecedent condition thereof. The major objective of the current chapter is to provide a select overview of (1) an exemplary set of mechanisms that help explain the often dynamic and reciprocal links between the two major areas of life and (2) the role that several layers of individual and contextual factors play as resources and constraints. To do so, we proceed in four steps. First, we review conceptual considerations and empirical evidence on stability and change in well-being from mid adulthood to very old age, the vast individual differences in levels and rates of change, and how these differences are shaped by cognitive functioning and change. Second, we consider how well-being may serve as an antecedent of functioning and development of cognitive performance and abilities. Third, we present stress reactivity, health behaviors, social participation, and neurological pathways as some of the presumed underlying processes. Finally, we discuss the role that resources and constraints at individual and contextual levels may play for linking cognition and well-being.