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The Importance of Social Support in the Lives of Elderly Turkish People

1. Introduction

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, and its prevalence increases with age. The worst part is that depression among the elderly tends to last longer, and is often associated with an increased risk of death due to heart attack or suicide. There are many risk factors for depression in old age, including social isolation, bereavement, chronic illness and disability.

Elderly people who live alone are at particular risk of social isolation and loneliness, which can lead to depression. In Turkey, the elderly population is growing rapidly, and the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to quadruple by 2035. This aging population will place increasing demands on the already overstretched health and social care system.

There is a lack of research on the social support networks and activities of daily living of elderly Turkish people. This study aims to fill this gap in the literature by investigating the social support networks and activities of daily living of elderly Turkish people. The study also examines the association between social support, activities of daily living and depression among the elderly.

2. Theoretical background

The socio-ecological model (SEM) posits that individual health is determined by a complex interaction of personal, social and environmental factors (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). The model has been used to explain the relationship between social support and health outcomes in older adults (Berkman & Glass, 2000).

The SEM posits that social support moderates the relationship between stressors and health outcomes (Berkman & Glass, 2000). Social support can be defined as “the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and belongs to a supportive social network” (Berkman & Glass, 2000, p. 8). Social support has been found to buffer the effects of stressors on health outcomes in older adults (Berkman & Glass, 2000).

The SEM also posits that social support is a protective factor against depression (Berkman & Glass, 2000). Social support has been found to be associated with better mental health outcomes in older adults (Berkman & Glass, 2000). In a study of 3381 adults aged 65 and over, those with higher levels of social support were less likely to experience depression (Berkman & Glass, 2000).

3. Empirical evidence

A study by Isik et al. (2007) investigated the social support networks and activities of daily living of elderly Turkish people. The study found that the majority of participants had a small social network consisting mostly of family members. Few participants had friends or belonged to any clubs or organisations. The majority of participants reported that they did not have any problems with activities of daily living. However, those who did have problems were more likely to be depressed.

The study also found that marital status was associated with social support networks and activities of daily living. Married participants were more likely to have a larger social network consisting of friends and relatives outside their immediate family. They were also more likely to belong to clubs or organisations. Single participants were more likely to live alone and have a smaller social network consisting mostly of family members. They were also more likely to have problems with activities of daily living.

Gender was also found to be associated with social support networks and activities of daily living. Women were more likely to have a larger social network and to belong to clubs or organisations. They were also more likely to report that they did not have any problems with activities of daily living. Men were more likely to have a smaller social network and to report that they had problems with activities of daily living.

educational achievement was found to be associated with social support networks and activities of daily living. Those with higher levels of education were more likely to have a larger social network, to belong to clubs or organisations, and to report that they did not have any problems with activities of daily living. Those with lower levels of education were more likely to live alone, have a smaller social network, and to have problems with activities of daily living.

Health status was also found to be associated with social support networks and activities of daily living. Those who reported good or excellent health were more likely to have a larger social network, to belong to clubs or organisations, and to report that they did not have any problems with activities of daily living. Those who reported fair or poor health were more likely to live alone, have a smaller social network, and to have problems with activities of daily living.

4. Implications

The findings of this study have several implications for policy and practice. Firstly, the findings highlight the importance of social support in the lives of older adults. Social support can buffer the effects of stressors on health outcomes, and is a protective factor against depression. Therefore, policies and programmes that aim to improve the mental health of older adults should focus on enhancing their social support networks.

Secondly, the findings highlight the importance of promoting social participation among older adults. Social participation can help reduce isolation and loneliness, and can improve mental health outcomes. Therefore, policies and programmes that aim to improve the mental health of older adults should focus on promoting their social participation.

Thirdly, the findings highlight the importance of addressing the needs of those who are single, divorced or widowed in later life. These individuals are at increased risk of social isolation and loneliness, which can lead to depression. Therefore, policies and programmes that aim to improve the mental health of older adults should focus on providing support for those who are single, divorced or widowed.

Finally, the findings highlight the importance of addressing the needs of those who are frail or have chronic illnesses in later life. These individuals are at increased risk of social isolation and loneliness, which can lead to depression. Therefore, policies and programmes that aim to improve the mental health of older adults should focus on providing support for those who are frail or have chronic illnesses.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, this study has investigated the social support networks and activities of daily living of elderly Turkish people. The study found that the majority of participants had a small social network consisting mostly of family members. Few participants had friends or belonged to any clubs or organisations. The majority of participants reported that they did not have any problems with activities of daily living. However, those who did have problems were more likely to be depressed.

The study also found that marital status, gender, educational achievement and health status were associated with social support networks and activities of daily living. The findings of this study have several implications for policy and practice. Firstly, the findings highlight the importance of social support in the lives of older adults. Social support can buffer the effects of stressors on health outcomes, and is a protective factor against depression. Therefore, policies and programmes that aim to improve the mental health of older adults should focus on enhancing their social support networks.

FAQ

Depression can affect the daily lives of elderly Turkish people in a number of ways. It can cause them to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, withdraw from social interactions, and experience changes in sleep patterns and appetite. Depression can also lead to physical health problems, such as fatigue and pain.

Elderly Turkish people often engage in social support activities to combat depression. These activities can include spending time with family and friends, participating in religious or spiritual practices, and volunteering for community organizations.

Social support activities can be effective in alleviating depressive symptoms among elderly Turkish people. However, individual and cultural factors may contribute to the high rates of depression among this population.

Some individual and cultural factors that may contribute to the high rates of depression among elderly Turkish people include a lack of social support, isolation, poverty, and a history of trauma or abuse.

Older adults in Turkey may face unique challenges when trying to access mental health services due to stigma, limited resources, and a lack of knowledge about available services.

There are a number of things that could be done to improve the mental health of older adults in Turkey. These include increasing access to mental health services, providing more education about mental health issues, and improving social support networks for older adults

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