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Quinto di Treviso, Italy

Cavallini E.,University of Pavia | Bottiroli S.,Connectivity | Capotosto E.,University of Padua | De Beni R.,University of Padua | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Background Cognitive flexibility has repeatedly been shown to improve after training programs in community-dwelling older adults, but few studies have focused on healthy older adults living in other settings. Objectives This study investigated the efficacy of self-help training for healthy older adults in a residential care center on memory tasks they practiced (associative and object list learning tasks) and any transfer to other tasks (grocery lists, face-name learning, figure-word pairing, word lists, and text learning). Transfer effects on everyday life (using a problem-solving task) and on participants' beliefs regarding their memory (efficacy and control) were also examined. With the aid of a manual, the training adopted a learner-oriented approach that directly encouraged learners to generalize strategic behavior to new tasks. The maintenance of any training benefits was assessed after 6 months. Method The study involved 34 residential care center residents (aged 70-99 years old) with no cognitive impairments who were randomly assigned to two programs: the experimental group followed the self-help training program, whereas the active control group was involved in general cognitive stimulation activities. Results Training benefits emerged in the trained group for the tasks that were practiced. Transfer effects were found in memory and everyday problem-solving tasks and on memory beliefs. The effects of training were generally maintained in both practiced and unpracticed memory tasks. Conclusion These results demonstrate that learner-oriented self-help training enhances memory performance and memory beliefs, in the short term at least, even in residential care center residents. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Gava L.,University of Padua | Marigo C.,ISRAA | Buranello A.,ISRAA | Pavan G.,ISRAA | Borella E.,University of Padua
Giornale di Gerontologia | Year: 2013

Introduction. The demographic changes and the aging of the population urge to examine social support networks, and in particular the informal ones. The present study aims to assess the quality of informal social networks and of the social support as perceived by older adults living in a retirement home. Methods. Forty self-sufficient older adults, aged between 81 and 97 years (M = 88.75; SD = 3.83), living in a retirement home, were presented questionnaires assessing social support networks, loneliness perception, coping strategies and satisfaction with life. Results. Results showed that loneliness was the main reason for admission in the retirement home, and social support network was composed primarily by family members. Furthermore, the adequacy of the social network, especially the adequacy of friends network, was found to be negatively correlated with the perception of loneliness, but positively with the coping strategies based on social support. The results also confirmed a significant correlation between perception of loneliness and satisfaction with life. Discussion. The present findings suggest that social needs are crucial aspects to be considered also in retirement homes.

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