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By Tom Seest

Are You Ready to Stop the Clock?

At GettingOlderNews, we help people who want to learn more about aging and anti-aging.

Researchers have created a new anti aging questionnaire designed to gauge attitudes about ageing more accurately based on what individuals themselves consider important, with scales related to vitality, legacy and exclusion included in its design.
The original Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire was developed through a cross-sectional survey with participants of Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. Mokken analysis was then employed to identify hierarchical scales and examine latent traits.

Are You Ready to Stop the Clock?

Are You Ready to Stop the Clock?

How Can You Unlock Your Vitality Potential?

Searching for vitality is essential to maintaining good health; however, becoming obsessed with its pursuit can distract individuals from engaging in other healthy behaviors. Thus it is crucial to separate the pursuit of vitality from controlling aging processes; doing so will enable individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles and avoid diseases like heart disease, diabetes, depression as well as cultivating an optimistic attitude toward growing older.
Researchers conducted a recent survey among older adults about their attitudes and experiences related to aging well. The results demonstrated that those with a positive perspective on aging tend to be more active and experience higher rates of happiness; additionally they engage in healthier behaviors such as eating balanced diets and experiencing lower levels of stress – suggesting their outlook toward aging plays an integral part in their quality of life. This suggests their attitude toward aging could serve as a predictor for wellbeing and quality of life.
Recent studies have attempted to measure attitudes about aging through five-item subscales of the Philadelphia Geriatric Morale Scale; however, these scales don’t adequately capture attitudes that promote vitality and longevity; additionally, they tend to rely heavily on younger people’s views of older adults while leaving out those over 50 who could provide accurate measurements of attitudes about aging. Given these limitations, it can be challenging to construct an accurate questionnaire for measuring attitudes toward aging.
Mokken scaling of the Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire (AAQ) revealed three dimensions based on factors related to Psychosocial Loss, Physical Change, and Psychological Growth; exploratory SEM mostly confirmed this original factor structure. Furthermore, Mokken scaling identified an unexplored dimension called Vitality that included items from all three of the original AAQ dimensions.
A longitudinal study involving nursing home residents without dementia concluded that high vitality was linked with functional ability and reduced hospitalization, though it failed to predict mortality in the short term. Further research is necessary to ascertain its predictive value as measured by various definitions of vitality (including mental and combined vitality), as well as to test whether these definitions hold water against different samples of individuals.

How Can You Unlock Your Vitality Potential?

How Can You Unlock Your Vitality Potential?

How can you defy the aging process?

A new generation of older adults is revolutionizing our attitudes about aging. Many don’t subscribe to negative stereotypes associated with growing older and instead view it as part of life itself, instead reporting positive attitudes about it and reporting satisfaction with their lives more frequently than those with negative outlooks on growing old; furthermore, they are likely to have higher social support networks which contribute to positive mental health outcomes.
Studies examining attitudes toward ageing often use the five item subscale of the Philadelphia Geriatric Morale Scale (PGMS) as a measure of attitude, however this measure doesn’t accurately capture both positive and negative attitudes towards ageing because it only covers aspects of it through surveying younger adults.
Legacy Intervention seeks to facilitate patient-family caregiver dyads’ ability to work together on creating their family history as part of a legacy project. Over the course of three in-home sessions, Legacy interventionists assist these dyads by brainstorming various possible Legacy projects, identifying any issues encountered, and coming to an agreement on one project that is mutually acceptable between participants.
Mokken scaling was used to develop the scales, with MSP5 acting as a statistical program to produce more precise interpretations of item responses than traditional analysis techniques such as factor analysis or IRT. Furthermore, its scales boast greater reliability than the original factors from AAQ.
As part of the intervention, patients and family caregivers are encouraged to engage in activities they find meaningful, such as creating an oral history or collecting artifacts. Mutual reminiscing has been shown to improve the quality of life for older adults while acting as a form of cognitive reappraisal, which reduces symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
The Legacy app features carefully written interview questions to capture memories, as well as a To-Do box where users can enter tasks they would like reminded about, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Furthermore, this app features a News box featuring articles and announcements related to genealogy and heritage.

How can you defy the aging process?

How can you defy the aging process?

How can you age gracefully and independently?

Digital exclusion among older adults has been linked with difficulty performing daily living activities and greater functional dependency, though its effects vary across subpopulations. This study investigated various mediating factors associated with digital exclusion among rural Ireland and Northern Ireland residents aged 80 years or over to explore its association with functional independence as a function of age – conducting 106 face-to-face interviews across ten rural communities in both countries.
The results of the study demonstrate that several mediating factors play a critical role in determining the impact of digital exclusion on aging-related functioning, including physical health, social connections, and access to digital services. Furthermore, digital exclusion’s relationship to functional tasks is more prominent among people at high risk of needing support with them.
Note that these findings are based on cross-sectional data with a small sample size. To strengthen evidence bases and enhance learning potential, future research should investigate these relationships using longitudinal data collection methods and explore their effects on aging-related functionality in various contexts.
Attitudes toward aging are complex and depend on many different elements, including personal beliefs and experiences, financial resources, and social connections. Each of these can have an immediate effect on health, wellbeing and quality of life – hence it is imperative that we understand the determinants of attitudes to ageing in various cultures and countries.
Researchers recently developed the Attitudes to Aging Questionnaire (AAQ). It uses Mokken scaling to divide into three separate scales that correspond with vitality/person-focussed aging, legacy/social value, and exclusion/dependence-focussed aging – thus aligning with dimensions identified through factor analysis. To better assess their effects, researchers developed this tool.
AAQ scales also demonstrate a clear hierarchy of how people endorse certain statements. For instance, an AAQ scale labeled ‘Vitality’ reveals responses ranging from affirming positive attitudes about aging to concerns that it will bring loss and loneliness; similarly, the AAQ scale labeled ‘Legacy/Social Value’ displays this trend.

How can you age gracefully and independently?

How can you age gracefully and independently?

How Can We Combat Psychosocial Loss?

Psychosocial loss refers to when an individual experiences the loss of social support, self-esteem, and sense of purpose in his or her life. Psychosocial losses involve emotional and behavioral changes; some may even manifest physically. These effects of stress include depressed mood, changes to sleeping and eating patterns, irritability, fatigue, and agitation; their impacts can be compounded by financial or health-related worries or the death of a loved one. Psychological and physical changes associated with grief can have lasting, detrimental effects on a person’s quality of life. Not everyone experiences grief in the same manner; some may react differently due to cultural or personality differences.
Psychologists have traditionally used various models to explain this phenomenon, including Attig’s five stages of grieving (Attig 1991). However, recent research has demonstrated that such models can be misleading; grief does not follow a predictable pattern for everyone, with responses differing depending on genetic, environmental, and personality factors.
Psychosocial loss was found to be the predominant reaction among 131 adults following Midwest flooding. This response was associated with reduced time spent on recovery activities and a lower overall sense of well-being, as well as being an accurate predictor of depression six weeks and six months post-flood. Therefore, this suggests that preventing psychosocial resource loss may help lessen the long-term impacts of natural disasters.
Mokken scaling has revealed new dimensions in the AAQ, showing there is a hierarchy of endorsement within three separate aspects of attitudes toward aging: vitality/person-focussed aging (which ranges from physical to psychosocial), legacy/social value (from feeling like you made a difference and passing things along) and exclusion/social role (general to specific instances). Pearson correlations between these newly discovered dimensions and various variables support conclusions reached from factor analysis.

How Can We Combat Psychosocial Loss?

How Can We Combat Psychosocial Loss?

Be sure to read our other related stories at GettingOlderNews to learn more about aging and anti-aging.