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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Applied Gerontology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
Pets and the level of loneliness in community dwelling older adults.

Pets and the level of loneliness in community dwelling older adults.

Date: December 2006
Creator: Nunnelee, Jane Baker
Description: Loneliness is a significant problem for older adults and can lead to negative health and social outcomes. Having a companion pet is beginning to be recognized as a way loneliness can be reduced for older persons. The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the effect of pets on the level of loneliness in persons 60 years old or older who live alone and independently in a large metropolitan community in the North Central Texas area. Using a non-random snowball sample of older individuals (N = 252), who met the study criteria, each subject was administered the researcher-developed demographic data survey instrument containing the following variables: (a) pets - having a pet/wanting a pet, (b) age, (c) gender, (d) marital status, (e) living alone, (f) losses within the last six months, (g) interactions with family members, (h) interactions with others outside of the family, (i) highest educational level achieved, (j) employment or volunteer involvement in the community, (k) religious participation, and (l) self perceived health status. The UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 was used to obtain the loneliness scores. Prediction of loneliness and relationship with the independent variables was tested using frequency, correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multivariate ...
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Medicare Plan D: Impact on Medication Compliance in the Elderly

Medicare Plan D: Impact on Medication Compliance in the Elderly

Date: May 2007
Creator: Huff, Billie Kathryn
Description: This dissertation examined the impact of Medicare Plan D on medication compliance in Medicare beneficiaries at University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, TX. Data were collected before and after the implementation of Plan D. The impacts of various types of benefits, such as private insurance, employer insurance and pharmacy assistance programs were evaluated in terms of impact on drug compliance. Medication compliance was found to increase in those respondents without Plan D. Plan D was found to be a predictor of those who spent less on basics in order to buy medications. Although compliance increased in general, these increases could not be attributed to the acquisition of a Plan D policy.
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A survey of collaborative efforts between public health and aging services networks in community health centers in Texas.

A survey of collaborative efforts between public health and aging services networks in community health centers in Texas.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Severance, Jennifer Jurado
Description: Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that harness the reinforcing nature of collaborative efforts with aging services can better prepare for the future of older adult populations. The purpose of this research was to identify collaborative efforts between FQHCs and aging services and distinguish perceptions and knowledge regarding older adult populations. Executive directors, medical directors and social service directors (N=44) at 31 FQHCs across the state of Texas completed surveys measuring structural, procedural and environmental components of the health center setting. The 2007 Uniform Data System and 2000 US Census provided additional data on health centers use and services. Descriptive statistics analyzed independent variables of health center characteristics. Bivariate analysis determined significance of association between independent variables and levels of collaboration with aging services. Results found that all health centers collaborated with at least one aging service, with more informal than formal partnerships. Respondents indicated major barriers to providing services to older adults, including inadequate transportation, inadequate insurance, and limited funding. Respondents also indicated overloaded staff as a major barrier to collaborating with aging services. Aging topics for staff development and perceptions about older adults were also identified. Health center tenure (p=0.005, lambda=1.000), professional tenure (p=0.011, lambda=1.000), leadership in aging services ...
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The Willingness of Older Adults to Evacuate in the Event of a Disaster

The Willingness of Older Adults to Evacuate in the Event of a Disaster

Date: May 2009
Creator: Gray-Graves, Amy Michael
Description: The issue of rising number of disasters, the overwhelming increase in number of older adults, and historically flawed evacuations presents real challenges. Disasters can strike anywhere, any time, and have devastating consequences. Since 1900, the number of Americans 65 and older has increased 12 times (from 3.1 million to 36.3 million). During the next two decades, the number of American baby boomers, now aged 45-64, who turn 65, will increase by 40%. As evidenced by recent disasters, the imperfections and vulnerabilities of flawed evacuations for older adults are still present. This study examined the level of willingness to evacuate among older adults in the event of a disaster. Despite the extensive literature on disasters and evacuation, some significant questions regarding evacuation and older adults have not been addressed. This study addressed the following concerns: (1) What is the willingness among older adults to evacuate when asked to do so by emergency management officials? (2) Does the call to evacuate being mandatory versus voluntary influence the willingness of seniors to evacuate? (3) Do preconditions (Gender, Marital Status, Age, Ethnic Origin, and Education Levels) influence the willingness to evacuate among older adults? The sample population consisted of 765 voluntary participants aged 60 ...
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An Evaluation Model for Identifying Lewisville and San Angelo, Texas, as Senior Ready Communities

An Evaluation Model for Identifying Lewisville and San Angelo, Texas, as Senior Ready Communities

Date: December 2009
Creator: Sanders, David N.
Description: This research portrays a paradigm for the assessment of aging services to support populations aging in place. The dissertation was designed to establish a model to identify and evaluate senior ready communities. Area specific social programs and services are identified. In order to meet the growing needs of aging populations, the dynamic representation of existing services and the need for services that could be developed in certain communities require reevaluation in current planning, restructuring, and/or community development.
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Retirees' Attitudes Toward Mental Illness Treatment: A Life-Course Perspective

Retirees' Attitudes Toward Mental Illness Treatment: A Life-Course Perspective

Date: May 2010
Creator: Starkey, Thomas Wayne, Jr.
Description: This purpose of this dissertation was to examine the attitudes of retirees toward mental illness treatment. Secondary data from the Survey Research Center at the University of North Texas was utilized for this study. The focus was on the influence that gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, personal experience, fear, goodwill, and social control might have had on retirees' attitudes toward mental illness treatment. An n = 225 was selected out of the existing data to serve as the sample population. Binary logistic regression was utilized to analyze the data. Results indicated that the obtained significant findings were consistent with existing literature.
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Resident Rights and Electronic Monitoring

Resident Rights and Electronic Monitoring

Date: August 2010
Creator: Shashidhara, Shilpa
Description: The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine resident, family member and staff perceptions of electronic monitoring and their effect on resident rights. The sample consisted of 53 nursing home residents, 104 staff and 25 family members, in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, from a nursing facility in which residents utilize video cameras in their rooms (Nursing Facility 1), two nursing facilities that have video cameras in their common rooms areas (Nursing Facility 2 and 3) and a nursing facility that does not utilize video cameras (Nursing Facility 4). The interview questions and self-administered surveys were in regard to the participant's perceptions of electronic monitoring, perceived risks and benefits of video cameras, awareness of resident rights and consciousness of potential risks to resident rights. Data were analyzed using a mixed methods approach using both ATLAS t.i and SAS. Study findings revealed that residents, family members and staff are aware of the potential benefits of electronic monitoring in nursing facilities. While respondents are hesitant to have electronic monitoring in resident rooms, they are interested in utilizing electronic monitoring in common areas. While residents and staff believe that electronic monitoring compromises resident rights, family members believe resident rights are protected. Different ...
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Sex and Older Americans: Exploring the Relationship Between Frequency of Sexual Activity and Happiness

Sex and Older Americans: Exploring the Relationship Between Frequency of Sexual Activity and Happiness

Date: August 2010
Creator: Jackson, Adrienne
Description: The purpose of this study is two-fold: (1) to examine the correlation between frequency of sexual activity and general happiness among older Americans and (2) to examine the correlation between frequency of sexual activity and marital happiness among older married Americans. This study employed quantitative data drawn from the 2004-2008 General Social Surveys. Two samples were used. The first sample included all respondents 65 years of age and older with valid responses for the dependent, independent, and control variables. The second sample was a subset of the first and included only the married respondents. Both bivariate cross-tabulations and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. As expected, the data support a positive association between sexual activity and general happiness in both the total elder sample and the married elder sample (p < 0.05). Also, as expected, the data support a positive association between frequency of sexual activity and marital happiness in the married elder sample (p < 0.05). Even with the introduction of control variables, frequency of sexual activity was found to be a significant predictor of both general and marital happiness (p < 0.05). This study suggests that sexual activity does indeed contribute the happiness and well-being of older Americans.
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Domestic Violence Shelters in Texas: Responding to Programming Needs of Older Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic Violence Shelters in Texas: Responding to Programming Needs of Older Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lozano, Yvonne M.
Description: This study examined if domestic violence shelters in Texas are responding to the needs of older female victims of intimate partner violence. Data for this study was collected through online questionnaire surveys of 45% of Texas domestic violence shelters. Findings of this study indicated that less than 10% of Texas shelters are providing specialized programming for older victims of IPV. In Texas, the demographic growth of older adults has remained comparable to increased national trends. The state of Texas will face several policy implications and social issues related to an older population that is rapidly growing. This includes, the importance of addressing certain members of an aging population who continue to fall victim to domestic violence. Furthermore, an unchanged resource of safety for victims of IPV is domestic violence shelters. Therefore, this study challenges current domestic violence shelter policies to address this issue of a rapidly growing segment of the Texas population. This study found less than 10% of shelters in Texas, who participated in this study, were providing specialized programming and outreach for older victims. Important practical implications for domestic violence shelter programming in Texas is provided.
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End of Life Care:  African Americans' Disproportionate Use of Hospice

End of Life Care: African Americans' Disproportionate Use of Hospice

Date: December 2010
Creator: McDonald, Ray
Description: The United States of America is a country composed of various ethnicities. This country is considered to be a multi-cultural society. There are various cultural traditions values, norms and superstitious practices within each ethnic group. Attitudes toward end of life care are complex and vary differently across each ethnic group. This study explored factors that explained African Americans' disproportionate use of hospice. Access to hospice care was address, experience with hospice was explored, and recommendations were provided. This study conducted non-experimental research. The design of this exploratory study was quantitative in nature. A survey approach was utilized to collect data that was statistically analyzed. The important concept was African American disproportionate use of hospice. The variable willingness to use was employed to try to explain African Americans' disproportionate use of hospice. The independent variables African Americans who mistrust formal healthcare providers and knowledge about hospice services were operationalized using multiple indicators. The independent variable experience with hospice services did not use a scale. The research findings supported all three study hypotheses. This research results recommend that an important focus of the future be to counsel persons on the availability of hospice as an option for end-of-life care. Well-structured programs of ...
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