Social Connectedness Wellbeing Resources and Indicators Among Living Facility Residents
Older adults are at high risk for social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation refers to low social interactions with others, and loneliness refers to a subjective feeling of lack of companion, which can occur in the presence of other people (Leigh-Hunt et al., 2017). Social connectedness or person interactions with others within the community is a critical element for keeping engaged and aging successfully (Levasseur et al., 2017).
Older adults with social connectedness are at lower risk for mood disorders and cognitive decline (Cruwys et al., 2013; Ertel et al., 2008). Social connectivity allows rekindling societal connections with age-friendly options and activities (Morgan et al., 2021) Living arrangement matters to people’s social connectedness wellbeing. Research has strong evidence that older people, particularly those living in residential care facilities, are more vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness (Neves et al., 2019). Although older people in residential caring facilities may spend their time with others in the facility, they often feel isolated and lower quality of life (Chang, 2013; Mitchell & Kemp, 2000).
There would be differences in social connectedness resourcing needs of older adults in assisted living by age cohort (young-old to older old) and their socio-demographic settings. A need for studies aggregates the evidence on emerging best practices for the socially inclusive leaving of burgeoning population of older adults. This study has practical significance to identify the most preferred/utilized resources from sociodemographic and psychosocial variables that contribute to social connectedness and its effect on the wellbeing of assisted living facility residents.
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Elias Mpofu
Committee Members: Dr. Stan Ingman, Dr. Denise Catalano, Dr. Gayle Prybutok, Dr. Naomi Meier