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Chapter 11

Health and Aging reading notes chapter 11

Health Studies
Course Code
Anna Walsh

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Health, Illness, and Aging
Chapter 11
-social support important for mental and physical health
Characteristics of the Social Support Network
-Antonucci said 3 functions: aid (instrumental help), affect (emotional support), and affirmation (acknowledgement
of ones values or agreement with ones attitudes)
-emotional support refers to the quality of a person’s relationships with others
-Thoits argued that the major function of social support is to provide information and advice in times of stress
-these types of supports are tightly intertwined
Social Support Networks
-3 levels: informal, quasi-formal, and formal
-consist of family, friends, and neighbours
-provides instrumental and emotional support, companionship, acceptance, love, understanding, and respect
-informal support members are generally the primary caregivers to the older adult who needs assistance
-children in law are also active care givers
-people with no children use siblings or niece or nephews for support
-Thomson and Krause found older adults who live alone and in deteriorate neighbourhoods were are double
jeopardy; these people had very low expectations of receiving support if it was needed
-neighbours and friends important in providing socialization and tension reduction
-friends are important because they are in the same cohort
-European Americans have less informal support in later years
-includes community organizations and service workers
-provides unpaid services to older persons, often as a voluntary link between individuals or families and
-watchdogs of older people
-places of worship important source of quasi-formal support
Formal Support
-consists of professional organizations who are hired to provide care to the individual
-can be private or public organization
-give a wide spectrum of care
-formal system often takes control of various aspects of the older person’s life which may be frightening and
-one of the primary reasons for nursing home admission is lack of primary care giving
-formal support does not substitute for informal support
Assessment of Social Support
-social support can be measures by quantity and quality
-quantity is an object measure (eg. Number of visits from friends, how they helped)
-quality is subjective measure, assessing perceived availability of help or satisfaction with help
-density of a network refers to the degree of overlap between network members
-Kraus said that perceived or anticipated support is more important than received support
Change in Network Size With Age
-decrease in the size of social network with age
-decrease in frequency of social contact with age
-no change in quality of support with age
-network membership changes with age
-refers to the give and take of assistance from one person to another
-Antonucci called this a support bank: deposits are made early in expectation that a withdrawal will be made later
-social exchange theory holds that the goal of a healthy relationship is to maintain an equitable exchange in giving
and receiving help; no one wants to be in debt
-older people provide emotional support to family for instrumental support from family
Negative Effects of Social Support
-excessive formal and informal support can lead to unwarranted dependency in late life
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