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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2011

Ehud Bodner*
Affiliation:
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Sara Cohen-Fridel
Affiliation:
Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Abraham Yaretzky
Affiliation:
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: bodnere@biu.ac.il.

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2011

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