Characteristics of social support in a community-living sample of older people: The Sydney older persons study

Edelbrock, Dorothy, Buys, Laurie, Waite, Louise M., Grayson, David A., Broe, G. Anthony, & Creasey, Helen (2001) Characteristics of social support in a community-living sample of older people: The Sydney older persons study. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 20(4), pp. 173-178.


As people advance in age there is a marked increase in the development of health-related problems, in both the chronic and acute illnesses and diseases. In fact disease is the major factor that prevents old people from remaining independent. As a result old-old people may rely on assistance from both informal and formal suppodrt sources in order to maintain independence. In the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Diasbility, Ageing and Carers, researchers found that 67% of people aged 75 or over need some form of assistance with housework, home maintenance, meals preparation, personal affairs or transport. The majority of this assistance is provided by informal carers (ie., family , friends and neighbours) in the older person's home.
Analysing the characteristics and level of social support received by older people is an important research agenda because lower levels of social support have been associated with mortality, poor health and lower levels of well-being. Describing the characteristics of social support in this age group is also particularly important because there is a dearth of information on the nature of social support which focuses on people over the age of 75 years in Australia. Previous research on older adults has found that lower levels of social support are associated with male gender, greater age and single marital status. The aim of this study is to firstly describe the characteristics of social support in a sample of community-living people over the age of 75 years and secondly to identify sociodemographic variables associated with social support.

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ID Code: 8565
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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ISSN: 1440-6381, 0726-4240
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 COTA National Seniors Partnership
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2009 07:38

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