Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-42xl8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-05T19:39:24.393Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Sheltered housing or community dwelling: quality of life and ageism among elderly people

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2011

Ehud Bodner*
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Sara Cohen-Fridel
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Abraham Yaretzky
Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Ehud Bodner, The Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel. Phone: +972-3-5317010; Fax: +972-3-6771134. Email:


Background: Previous studies have found correlations between negative perceptions of old age and perceived quality of life (QoL) among elderly people. It has also been suggested that a denial of aging mechanism is employed and might support ageist attitudes among private-sheltered housing tenants compared with elderly people who live in the community and experience intra-generational interactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that tenants of sheltered housing will report more ageist attitudes towards people of their own age, and report a lower QoL than elderly people who live in the community.

Methods: The sample included 126 volunteers, aged between 64 and 94 years, who live in private-sheltered housing (n = 32) or in the community (n = 94). The participants completed the Fraboni scale of ageism, and a QoL Inventory (SF-36).

Results: People, and men in particular, who live in sheltered housing, reported more intergenerational ageist attitudes than men and women who live in the community. Tenants in sheltered housing expressed lower evaluations of their mental health, but higher evaluations on “social functioning” (QoL scales). Women from sheltered housing reported better mental health than men. Gender and some QoL scales were associated with higher ageism.

Conclusions: Differences in ageist attitudes between both dwelling places can be interpreted according to Social Identity Theory, which refers to the impact of the ingroup on social attitudes. Differences in QoL can be understood by the accessibility of social activities in private-sheltered housing. Gender differences in ageism and QoL can be explained by women's better social adjustment. Findings should be regarded with caution because of the small sample.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bodner, E. (2009). On the origins of ageism among older and younger adults: a review. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 10031014.Google Scholar
Bodner, E. and Cohen-Fridel, S. (2010). Relations between attachment styles, ageism and quality of life in late life. International Psychogeriatrics, 22, 13531361Google Scholar
Brodsky, J.Schnoor, Y. and Be'er, S. (2001). The Elderly in Israel. The 2001 Statistical Abstract. Jerusalem: Eshel.Google Scholar
Butler, R. N. (1995). Ageism. In Maddox, G. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Aging (pp. 3839). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Chapin, R. and Dobbs-Kepper, D. (2001). Aging in place in assisted living: philosophy versus policy. Gerontology, 41, 4350.Google Scholar
Davidson, K. (2000). What we want: older widows and widowers speak for themselves. Practice, 12, 4554.Google Scholar
Deck, R., Kohlmann, T. and Jordan, M. (2002). Health-related quality of life in old age: preliminary report on the male perspective. The Aging Male, 5, 8797.Google Scholar
Doron, I. and Lightman, E. (2003). Market control or government regulation? Assisted living in Israel. Ageing and Society, 25, 779795.Google Scholar
Fraboni, M., Saltstone, R., and Hughes, S. (1990). The Fraboni scale of ageism (FSA): an attempt at a more precise measure of ageism. Canadian Journal on Aging, 9, 5556.Google Scholar
Gamliel, T. (2003). The lobby as an arena in the confrontation between acceptance and denial of old age. Journal of Aging Studies, 14, 251271.Google Scholar
Gamliel, T. and Hazan, H. (2006). The meaning of stigma: identity construction in two old-age institutions. Ageing and Society, 26, 355371.Google Scholar
Hausdorff, J. M., Levy, B. R. and Wei, J. Y. (1999). The power of ageism on physical function of older persons: Reversibility of age-related gait changes. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47, 13461349.Google Scholar
Haywood, K. L., Garratt, A. M., and Fitzpatrick, A. (2005). Quality of life in older people: a structured review of generic self assessed health instruments. Quality of Life Research, 14, 16511668.Google Scholar
Kite, M. E. and Wagner, L. S. (2002). Attitudes toward older adults. In Nelson, T. D. (ed.), Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons (pp. 129161). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Levy, B. R. and Banaji, M. R. (2004). Implicit ageism. In Nelson, T. (ed), Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice against Older Persons (pp. 4975). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Lewin-Epstein, N., Sagiv-Shifter, T., Shabtai, E. and Shmueli, A. (1998). Validation of the SF-36-Item Short-Form health survey (Hebrew version) in the adult population of Israel. 36, Medical Care, 13611370.Google Scholar
Lightman, E. S. (1992). A Community of Interests: The Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Unregulated Residential Accommodation. Toronto: Ontario Government.Google Scholar
Litwin, H. (1998). The provision of informal support by elderly people residing in assisted-living facilities. The Gerontologist, 38, 239246.Google Scholar
Manzoli, L., Villari, P., Pirone, G. M. and Boccia, A. (2007). Marital status and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 64, 7794.Google Scholar
Shippee, T. P. (2009). But I am not moving: residents’ perspectives on transitions within a continuing care retirement community. The Gerontologist, 49, 418427.Google Scholar
Shmotkin, D. (2005). Happiness in the face of adversity: reformulating the dynamic and modular bases of subjective well-being. Review of General Psychology, 9, 291325.Google Scholar
Stewart, A. L. and King, A. L. (1994). Conceptualizing and measuring quality of life in older population. In Abeles, R. P., Gift, H. K. and Ory, M. G. (eds), Aging and Quality of Life (pp. 2754). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Tajfel, H. (1981). Human Groups and Social Categories: Studies in Social Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ware, J. J. and Sherbourne, C. D. (1992). The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30, 473483.Google Scholar