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Gerontology researches in Hungary

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Judit Kopkáné Plachy
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Lifestyle and Living Standards of Elderly Men in Eastern Hungary This present study intends to deal with the lifestyles and living standards of elderly men. The health-related lifestyle was examined including a closer look at how elderly people value their own living standards, and how it is connected to the present state of their condition and activities. Our main goal was to highlight all lifestyle elements, because such an age, lifestyle has a decisive role in improving living standards. It seems reasonable to take several aspects - physical activity, change of lifestyle, and age differences - into consideration when health-cultural behaviour is examined because all of them can influence elderly people's lifestyles and quality of life. Data were collected in eastern Hungary, in Hajdú-Bihar County, among elderly males above 60 years old (N=1,269; M=70.23; min: 60; max: 99; SD±7.095) through questionnaires. Our survey contained questions in three main topics: demographic profile (age, sex, education, financial status, living conditions, and occupation), health status (subjective health status, health awareness, mental health status), and health behaviour (physical exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption). Different sub-patterns were examined during the analysis: different qualifications, age, and settlement types.
Study aim: To measure the effects of Pilates and aqua fitness training on functional fitness and quality of life in older individuals. Material and methods: A total of 54 participants (M = 66.4 ± 6.2 years) from a club for retired people in Eger, Hungary, were randomly assigned to 3 groups: one did Pilates 3 times/week (n = 22); one did aqua fitness 3 times/week (n = 17); and a control group (n = 15). The Fullerton Functional Fitness Test (FFFT) was used to measure functional fitness pre - and post-program. Quality of life was measured by WHO’s quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL). Results: In the FFFT, significant improvement was found in 5 out of 7 variables: lower and upper body strength, lower body flexibility, physical mobility (especially dynamic balance), and aerobic endurance by the Pilates group. Shoulder flexibility improved significantly in the Aqua fitness group. Lower body strength improved in the control group. BMI did not change significantly in any of the groups. WHOQOL showed improvement in perception and autonomy in the Pilates group; sociability in the Aqua group. The between-subject analyses yielded a significant main effect of the experimental group F Discussion: A 6-month intervention program is an appropriate tool to improve overall physical performance of healthy, inactive older adults, regardless of the type of exercise concerning Pilates or Aqua fitness, but might improve only some aspects of QOL. There is a strong need for well-designed intervention programs for the elderly.
Quality of life, assertiveness, and personality dimensions in elderly men Study aim : To assess quality of life, assertiveness associated with aging personalities, and personality dimensions as related to age, highest level of qualification, and place of residence of elderly males. Material and methods: Elderly (n = 1269) men were chosen from the clubs for the elderly from settlements in one of the poorest counties in Hungary. The sample was divided into groups according to their age (60-69 years old; 70 years old and above), education (primary, secondary/higher), and place of residence (village-town). Quality of life was assessed by Quality of Life – OLD (WHOQOL-OLD), assertiveness was measured by the Rathus assertiveness schedule, and personality characteristics were measured by the Big Five Questionnaire. Results : Predominantly, relatively low levels of the quality of life, assertiveness, and personality of elderly males were noticed. In none of the scales, no significant gender- or education-related differences were found; however, men living in a town had higher (p<0.05) levels of Sociability (3.49 vs. 3.42), Emotions (3.01 vs. 2.94), Openness (3.18 vs. 3.08), and Conscientiousness (3.37 vs. 3.30) and lower levels of Self-efficacy (0.31 vs. 0.69) than those living in villages. Conclusions : Age and level of education do not seem to have a meaningful effect on elderly men’s quality of life, assertiveness, and personality characteristics; however, elderly living in villages have fewer opportunities for successful ageing.