Successful Aging in Oldest-Old Adults: Role of Physical and Social Factors

by Katie Elizabeth Stanko

Institution: Louisiana State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: frailty; successful aging; social engagement; older adults; physical activity
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2154968
Full text PDF: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-02072017-105137/;


Successful aging, increasing in chronological age while maintaining health, is related to a multitude of factors including social and physical behaviors. Older adults may report that they are aging successfully while biomedical outcomes suggest otherwise. In the present study, sociodemographic characteristics, social engagement, physical activity in relation to frailty and health-related quality of life (HR QoL) were examined using a lifespan sample of adults (N = 732) from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS). Four age groups were compared: younger (21-44 years), middle-aged (45-64 years), older (65-84 years), and oldest-old adults (85 to 101 years). A main effect of age was found for both subjective and objective indices of health, with oldest-old adults reporting lowest health and highest frailty; older and oldest-old women were in significantly poorer health and had higher levels of frailty than their male counterparts. Two regression models, one with a subjective health and objective health outcome, were conducted. In model 1, physical activity, hours out of the home, and frailty score were significant contributors to subjective health. In model 2, age, gender, level of education, hours out of the home, and presence of a confidant or close person were all significantly associated with frailty score. Together these findings indicate both physical activity and social support and engagement impact how older adults view themselves aging as well as objective, biomedical outcomes of successful aging.Advisors/Committee Members: Cherry, Katie (chair), Donovan, Neila (committee member), Irving, Brian (committee member), Elliott, Emily (committee member).