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HSM 330 (12)
Chapter 11

HSM330 chap 11 notes

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Ryerson University
Health Services Management
HSM 330
Daolun Chen

Chapter 11 Social Support, Health, and Aging • Social support is important for both mental health and physical health throughout the life span, but it may be especially important in late life. Characteristics of the Social Support Network Functions of Social Support • 3 functions of social support have been identified: Aid (instrumental help), Affect (emotional support), and Affirmation (acknowledgment of one’s values or agreement with one’s attitudes). Generally, instrumental support includes tangible aid. For older people, this may be as simple as providing a ride to the grocery store or mowing the lawn and often takes the form of help with the tasks of daily living, such as activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Emotional support refers to the quality of the person’s relationships with others, including empathy, caring, companionship, love, and trust. The intention of social support is often to alleviate the psychological distress of the person. Finally, affirmation is the knowledge and understanding that one’s belief’s and attitudes are similar to others, therefore providing membership and acceptance in a group. Informal Support • Informal support network members consist of family, friends, and neighbors. This group provides instrumental and emotional support, companionship, acceptance, love, understanding, and respect. Quasi-Formal Support • The quasi-formal support system includes community organizations and service workers. These are religious organizations, neighborhoods, and volunteer community interest groups such as Lions clubs and Masons. • The quasi-formal support system provides unpaid services to older persons, often as a voluntary link between individuals or families and communities, providing information, helping with transportation, or doing home repairs. These quasi- formal groups serve as watchdogs for the older person, noting when mail is not picked up or a customary shopping trip missed. 1 • Places of worship are an important source of quasi-formal support. Synagogues, churches, temples, and mosques provide emotional support for their members, through spiritual connections and a sense of community. Formal Support • The formal support system consists of members of professional organizations who are hired to provide care to the individual. These can be either private or public organizations. Examples of agencies that provide formal help are adult day health centres, health clinics, respite facilities, home health care agencies, skilled nursing homes, social services agencies, assisted-living facilities, and public health departments. • Formal support network members give a wide spectrum of care, most of it instrumental in nature. Interface of Formal and Informal Support • It was found that informal caregivers provided the majority of care to their older relatives, even when formal support was available. Recent studies substantiate that the use of formal support has minimal impact on the amount of care given by the informal system. Addition of formal in-home support (e.g., personal care and bathing) to older adults with chronic illnesses was not found to be associated with less informal care or self-care. Families continue to provide care for their family members, even with outside help. Assessment of Social Support • Social su
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