What About Elders Who Have No Informal or Formal Support?
Roberto, Karen A.
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Telephone interview data from a representative sample of 2,034 rural elders showed that 26.3% had limitations in abilities to perform daily activities (cooking, walking, cleaning, driving, etc.). Of these, many received informal assistance from family and friends or formal help from community agencies. However, 64 persons who had needs received no routine assistance from anyone. What are the effects of lack of support on their well-being? What coping strategies do they use in relation to their needs for assistance with everyday tasks? These elders did not differ from the others on demographic characteristics or psychological well-being. They demonstrated both resilience in current coping strategies and potential vulnerability in terms of risk to their physical health and psychological well-being in the future. Community service providers must address unexpressed needs in order to prevent exacerbation of problems and must educate elders and their families about the availability of services.