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Importance of Activity: What the Research Shows in Support of Senior Center Programming Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D. Director Jefferson Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Thomas Jefferson University
Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D.
Jefferson Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Thomas Jefferson University
Prepared for the Pennsylvania Association in Senior Centers
Friday, April 18, 2008
I. Changing Dynamics of Age and Health Structure
II. Evidence Supporting Importance of Senior Centers
III. Looking Forward
What are implications for programming?
Number of Older Americans (Older Americans 2008: Indicators of Well-being)
Racial and Ethnic Composition (Older Americans 2008: Indicators of Well-being)
Nursing Home Utilization (Older Americans 2008: Indicators of Well-being)
Chronic Health Conditions (Older Americans 2008: Indicators of Well-being)
Gitlin et al., 2006; Gitlin et al., in press
Winter and Gitlin (manuscript in progress)
Gitlin et al., Amer. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008
Combined Allen’s diagnostic tools with neuropsychological testing and clinical interviewing to identify preserved capabilities
Developed 3 activity choices and instructed family caregivers in using each activity:
Relaxing the rulesTailored Activity Program
In Touch: Mind Body and Spirit
Collaborative Program of Research between Center in the Park and CARAH, Thomas Jefferson University
Funded by National Institute of Mental Health
(manuscript in progress)
Focus Groups/In-depth interviews:
Develop new skills
Feel more healthy
Reduce my stress
Have more energy
Have more fun
I enjoyed this class
Socialize and relate to others
Feel more connected to my community
Feel supported by my peers
Connect with others in this class
Assert my opinions
Be more decisive
Have more self-confidence
Increase my self-awarenessEvaluation: Going Beyond SatisfactionTo What extent did this class/activity help you:
In Touch Evaluation used at CIP
3. Gitlin, L. N., Winter, L., Dennis, M. P. & Hauck, W. (in press). Who benefits more from a home intervention to reduce functional difficulties? Moderator effects by gender, race, age, and education. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
6. Ghisletta et la., 2006. Does Activity engagement protect against cognitive decline in old age? Methodological and analytical considerations. J. of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 61B P253-261.
7. Verghese et al., 2006. Leisure activities and the risk of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in the elderly. Neurology, 66, 821-827.
8. Bielak, et al., 2007. It’s never too late to engage in lifestyle activities: Significant concurrent but not change relationships between lifestyle activities and cognitive speed. J. of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 62B, P331-P339.