Social support as a predictor of health status among older adults living alone in Japan

Emiko Saito, Yoko Sagawa, Katsuko Kanagawa
Nursing & Health Sciences 2005, 7 (1): 29-36
The purpose of this study was to determine social support as a predictor of health status among older adults living alone, based on a 2-year longitudinal study in a rural area of Japan. The self-reported questionnaires were distributed to 624 older adults living alone and were collected during home visits by welfare commissioners as baseline survey. After the follow-up survey of 493 respondents as the baseline survey, we analyzed 340 persons who lived alone over the last 2 years. Women had significantly higher emotional and instrumental support scores than men. Receiving positive support from the neighborhood had a significant effect on retaining activities of daily living for older women living alone. Our results suggest that receiving social support from the neighborhood brought an improvement in the health status of older adults, particularly women living alone.


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