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Associations between frailty and social participation among solitary living older adults -A case study of Zhongshan District Taipei city
solitary living older adults
The purposes of this study were to examine (1) the relationship between frailty and social participation; and (2) the sociodemographic characteristics associated with the degree of frailty and social participation among solitary living older adults in the Zhongshan District of Taipei City. This cross-sectional study targeting solitary living older adults was conducted by Department of Social Welfare, Taipei City Government in April 2017. The data were collected through a structured questionnaire and a total of 220 questionnaires were completed. The results of the study were summarized as follows: 1.The frailty status of the subjects was as follows: non-frail (55.5%), pre-frail (40.5%), and frailty (4.1%). The average point of social participation was 67.45, with the highest scores for club activities; followed by leisure activities; and the political activity scores were the lowest in six facets. 2.The results showed that “degree of frailty” was significantly different by "educational levels", "health status", "family or relative support" and "economic status". Subjects who were not healthy, not supported by family members/relatives, and not financially active had higher degree of frailty. There was also a significant positive correlation between "age", "single time" and "number of chronic diseases" and their frailty. Subjects who were older, had longer solitary living time, and more chronic had higher degree of frailty. 3.The results also showed that “social participation” was significantly different by "educational level", "health status" and "family or relatives and friends support". Subjects who had "good” or “very good” health status, and "support from family or relatives” had higher social participation. 4.There was a significant negative correlation between the frailty and social participation among subjects. 5.The sociodemographic variables and frailty of the subjects can predict their social participation and explain 23.1% of the total variance of social participation. "High school degree "college or above degree”, "healthy or not good" and "Family or relatives and friends support" were the main predictors. Among these predictors, "family or relatives and friends support" has the greatest impact on social participation, followed by "healthy or not good". According to the results of this study, it is suggested that above-mentioned characteristics of the solitary living older adults should be targeted for early-intervention to prevent frailty and social participation. It would be important to delay the occurrence of disability and achieve the vision of Aging in Place and Active Aging.
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