ERIC Number: ED273861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Helping Network Failure and Elderly Well-Being: Policy and Research Implications.
Warland, Rex H.; And Others
Since many older Americans rely on family, friends, and neighbors to provide help in time of need, some assessment of how well these support systems work seems justified. A telephone survey was conducted to examine demographic characteristics, access to helpers, and well-being of three groups of noninstitutionalized older adults: (1) Group 1 (N=110) had difficulty doing household, transportation, or health tasks and had no one to help them; (2) Group 2 (N=644) needed and received help; and (3) Group 3 (N=146) reported no difficulty doing tasks themselves. The results revealed a significant number of elderly persons who needed help but who were not receiving it. These individuals were primarily unmarried women who lived alone, had relatively low incomes and education levels, had limited access to family help, depended more on formal help, had relatively high levels of stress and distress, and had poor health. This profile is similar to those described as most vulnerable to psychological stress and health problems, and is one of the fastest growing household types in the United States. More information is needed to determine precisely how weak the networks of those who need help really are. If it is established that helping networks are not available for some elderly persons who need them, then programs of outreach and service will have to be developed. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Rural Sociological Society (Salt Lake City, UT, August 26-30, 1986).