chapter  2
20 Pages

Living Conditions and Everyday Needs of the Elderly with Particular Reference to Social Isolation 1

WithRuth Bennett

Well-adjusted aged persons are found to be active, eager to participate, and able-well into old age, as is indicated in the work of J. H. Britton and E. G. Youmans in rural areas. However, in large cities the variables of age density and adequacy of living conditions seem to intervene. Participation seems needed to preserve morale in the aged mainly where age density is low; that is, when there are not many other old people in a neighborhood according to I. Rosow. One of the major distinguishing social characteristics of the aged is their isolation. Residents as a group obtained markedly higher socialization scores than people on the waiting list, which came as no surprise since they knew more about life in the home. Social isolation was found to be inversely and significantly related to socialization and integration. Social integration was measured sociometrically by using residents’ friendship choices.