Elderly urban residents and their family and social support networks

The objective of this study was to analyze family and social support given to elderly people in Alecrim City, RS, Brazil. Using an analytical and quantitative approach 338 elderly people responded to socio-demographic questions in March and April of 2007. The other instrument used for data collection was the Medical Outcomes Study. We applied descriptive statistical analysis, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests, and the chi-squared test at 5% significance levels. Results indicate the prevalence of the female gender (61,8%), married (61,5%), between the ages 60 and 69 (56,2%), living with a partner (49,7%), have friends (99,1%), and are part of groups (35,8%). Data show that among the elderly who were part of this study, a significant percentage (87%) have a family and social network, which supplies them emotional, material, affective, and informational support, characterizing positive social interaction. We conclude that these people have a good social and family life, which allows them to live with dignity and quality of life.

Aged; Family; Geriatrics

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