Grandparenting predicts late-life cognition: Results from the Women's Healthy Ageing Project

ArticleinMaturitas 81(2) · March 2015with 884 Reads 
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  • ... Grandparenting have been related to less depression and loneliness, as well as better cognitive function. 7,8 The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of grandparents providing grandchild care in a South Korean population and examine the severity of depression and suicidal ideation of the older adults according to the amount of involvement in grandchild care. ...
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    The purpose of the present study was to examine the severity of suicidal ideation of the older adults according to the amount of involvement in grandchild care. Data for this research were drawn from a cross-sectional study conducted on community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older. The 922 participants were divided into three groups according to their involvement in grandchild care: 18.5% had provided daily care, 12.4% had provided occasional care, and 69.1% had never cared for their grandchildren. ANCOVA analysis showed that the scores for depression was significantly lower in the group which took care of their grandchildren occasionally compared to the other two groups. The scores for suicidal ideation was significantly higher in the group which had never taken care of their grandchildren compared to the other two groups. Current study suggests that grandparenting may have a positive effect on suicidal ideation of the older adults.
  • ... Among the different avenues for participation in social activities in these adults >57 years of age, those with CKD Stages 3b-5 most often cared for grandchildren, although the frequency of caring for grandchildren was lower in those with CKD Stages 3b-5 compared with those without, presumably due to the poorer functional capacity of those with CKD. In the general population, studies have shown that caring for grandchildren helps prevent cognitive decline [30], although it is unclear if the same would be observed in the presence of CKD. Notably, social isolation has also been associated with an inflammatory state in communitydwelling individuals [31,32]. ...
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    Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with multiple comorbidities, hospitalizations and mortality. In older adults, social isolation and poor mobility contribute to these outcomes. We tested the hypothesis that a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) <45 mL/min/1.73 m2 (CKD Stages 3b-5) is associated with social isolation and that mobility limitation is a key driver of social isolation in patients with CKD. Methods: Data from 9119 participants, ages 57-107 years, from the 2016 wave of the Health and Retirement Study's Venous Blood Study were used for this cross-sectional analysis. Kidney function measured by estimated GFR (eGFR) was the predictor and patients were classified as CKD Stages 3b-5 or non-CKD Stages 3b-5 (eGFR ≤45 or >45 mL/min/1.73 m2). The outcomes tested were mobility limitation assessed by self-report and social contact and participation measures assessed by the Psychosocial Life Questionnaire. The associations among kidney function, mobility and social isolation were examined with logistic and ordinary least squares regression, adjusted for covariates and testing for interaction with gender. Results: Participants with CKD Stages 3b-5 (N = 999) compared with non-CKD Stages 3b-5 were older (74.9 versus 68.2 years, P < 0.001) and fewer were female (15% versus 58%, P < 0.001). CKD Stages 3b-5 were associated with higher odds of difficulty walking several blocks [odds ratio 1.44 (95% confidence interval 1.16-1.78)]. Participants with CKD Stages 3b-5 had reduced social contact and social participation (B = -0.23, P < 0.05; B = -0.62, P < 0.05, respectively). Women with CKD Stages 3b-5 were 2.7 times more likely to report difficulty walking several blocks than men with CKD Stages 3b-5, but social isolation in CKD Stages 3b-5 did not vary by gender. In CKD Stages 3b-5 patients, mobility limitation was a risk factor for reduced social contact and participation but did not explain the poor social contact and participation. Conclusion: CKD Stages 3b-5 was associated with both mobility limitation and social isolation in a population-based study of older adults. In contrast to older adults without CKD Stages 3b-5, mobility limitation did not explain the lack of social contact and poor social participation, suggesting other factors are more important.
  • ... First, very extensive interaction may introduce cognitive or emotional demand that outweighs the benefits seen for lower levels. Recent research exploring potential cognitively stimulating effects of grandparenting found that the relationship between days of childcare and cognitive function is parabolic, suggesting that beneficial engagement may reach a critical threshold, with additional activity representing a cognitively detrimental stressor (Burn, Henderson, Ames, Dennerstein, & Szoeke, 2014;Burn & Szoeke, 2015). Reverse causality is another possibility, with people experiencing declines in cognition possibly spending increased time interacting with family members or other caregivers. ...
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    Social engagement is associated with healthy aging and preserved cognition. Two dimensions of engagement, verbal interactions and perceived support, likely impact cognition via distinct mechanistic pathways. We explored the cognitive benefit of each construct among enrollees (N = 1,052, mean age = 60.2 years) in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention study, who provide neuropsychological and sociobehavioral data at two-year intervals. Outcomes included six cognitive factor scores representing key domains of executive function and memory. Key predictors included self-reported perceived social support and weekly verbal interaction. Results indicated that after adjusting for lifestyle covariates, social support was positively associated with Speed and Flexibility and that verbal interactions were associated with Verbal Learning and Memory. These findings suggest that support, which may buffer stress, and verbal interaction, an accessible, aging-friendly form of environmental enrichment, are uniquely beneficial. Both are integral in the design of clinical and community interventions and programs that promote successful aging.
  • ... This relationship has a great value as grandmothers minding grandchildren maintained higher executive function compared to those who do not. 17 JPHNs identified caregiver burn out, in-laws quarrel and disrespect of elderly by youngsters in the family as some of the reasons for conflicts in family. JPHNs identified home-bound elderly as a vulnerable group for abuse. ...
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    Background: Population is ageing in India. Health care and other needs associated with ageing have risen. The study objectives were to explore the concept of ‘healthy ageing’; health problems of elderly; and felt needs in the care of elderly perceived by the community.Methods: Total of five focus group discussions was conducted. Three Focus group discussions were conducted with family members of homebound elderly and one discussion each were conducted with primary health workers and residents of old age home to supplement the qualitative information gathered from the family members.Results: The participant could make a long list of geriatric health problems. But, their knowledge and attitude towards them was grossly incorrect. All the problems were regarded as part and parcel of ageing for which help was not sought proactively. Mental health problems were regarded as ‘behavioural’ and ‘psychological’ problems. The health problems had its bad effect on family relationships. The perceived healthcare needs were mostly of palliative nature. Day care centres were proposed to improve social interaction of elderly. The community could not afford the level of services which they need. Home care visits by a health team were regarded highly useful.Conclusions: Wide spectrum of barriers to healthcare access of elderly exists in the community. In this regard, a comprehensive community based geriatric health care program including health promotive, preventive, curative and palliative services needs to be formulated with a strong component of health education.
  • ... The WHAP cognitive database is unique in the world with the availability of longitudinal prospective measures from 45 years of age (including blood and imaging biomarkers) combined with neuropsychiatric evaluations from participants in their 50s and the availability of latelife specialized neuro-imaging including fMRI and measurement of cerebral amyloidosis [20]. Earliest changes in cognitive decline from age 50 have been examined, and the importance of social engagement [33,[134][135][136][137] and minimizing vascular risk [138] to improve cognitive health have been reported. These findings are important in the context of the paucity of cognitive data in those under 60 in conjunction with recent research noting that the earliest changes of brain pathology associated with dementia can already be found in 50 year olds [139]. ...
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    In this article, we review both theoretical and empirical advancements in retirement adjustment research. After reviewing and integrating current theories about retirement adjustment, we propose a resource-based dynamic perspective to apply to the understanding of retirement adjustment. We then review empirical findings that are associated with the key research questions in this literature: (a) What is the general impact of retirement on the individual? and (b) What are the factors that influence retirement adjustment quality? We also highlight important future research directions that may be fruitful for psychologists to pursue in this area.
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    We examined the relationship between social network characteristics and global cognitive status in a community-based sample of 354 adults aged 50+ and with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores of 28+ at baseline. Multivariate analyses indicated that interaction in larger social networks related to better maintenance of MMSE scores and reduced odds of decline to population-based lower quartile MMSE scores at follow-up 12 years later. At follow-up, higher levels of interpersonal activity (more frequent contacts in larger social networks) and exposure to emotional support independently related positively to MMSE. The findings suggest that interaction in larger social networks is a marker that portends less cognitive decline, and that distinct associational paths link interpersonal activity and emotional support to cognitive function.
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    The authors examined whether low levels of social engagement in midlife and late life were associated with the risk of incident dementia in 2,513 Japanese-American men who have been followed since 1965 as part of the Honolulu Heart Program and the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. In 1991, assessment of dementia began; incident dementia cases (n = 222) were diagnosed in 1994 and 1997. Social engagement was assessed in midlife (1968) and late life (1991). The relation between social engagement and dementia risk was examined using Cox proportional hazards models. No level of midlife social engagement was associated with the risk of dementia. In late life, compared with participants in the highest quartile of late-life social engagement, those in the lowest quartile had a significantly increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio = 2.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.18, 4.65). However, compared with those who were in the highest quartile of social engagement at both midlife and late life, only decreased social engagement from midlife to late life was associated with an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.87, 95% confidence interval: 1.12, 3.13). Although low social engagement in late life is associated with risk of dementia, levels of late-life social engagement may already have been modified by the dementing process and may be associated with prodromal dementia.