Older adults face particular risks of exclusion from social relationships (ESR) and are especially vulnerable to its consequences. However, research so far has been limited to specific dimensions, countries, and time points. In this paper, we examine the prevalence and micro- and macro-level predictors of ESR among older adults (60+) using two waves of data obtained four years apart across 14 European countries in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We consider four ESR indicators (household composition, social networks, social opportunities, and loneliness) and link them to micro-level (age, gender, socioeconomic factors, health, and family responsibilities) and national macro-level factors (social expenditures, unmet health needs, individualism, social trust, and institutional trust). Findings reveal a northwest to southeast gradient, with the lowest rates of ESR in the stronger welfare states of Northwest Europe. The high rates of ESR in the southeast are especially pronounced among women. Predictably, higher age and fewer personal resources (socioeconomic factors and health) increase the risk of all ESR dimensions for both genders. Macro-level factors show significant associations with ESR beyond the effect of micro-level factors, suggesting that national policies and cultural and structural characteristics may play a role in fostering sociability and connectivity and, thus, reduce the risk of ESR in later life.
There are numerous sociological and psychosocial studies, both classic and current, that have analysed the images and representations of older people and aging. If gender, intersectional and land perspectives are added, the literature consulted is only a few years old, particularly in Spanish. In addition, research based on fieldwork from virtual image banks is still scarce and recent. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the images from some free access image banks (like Freepik, Canva, Pixabay, or Storyblocks) of older people from a gender, intersectional and socio-spatial and land perspective. Methods: 150 images have been analysed following different selected criteria: 22 variables related to gender, activity, socio-spatial environment, natural space and land, among others, briefly describe the main methods or treatments applied. The key results show a stereotyped and barely diverse image of old age and aging around positive representations, with a notable absence of images related to loneliness as opposed to the presence of social relationships. A feminization has also been observed in the representations, with an imbalance in the activities that are carried out (care in the case of women and leisure in the case of men) and in the visible space (indoor among women and outdoor among men). Older people are still identified with a rural, traditional, and more defined territory and not with more diverse and ecological spaces, which are more frequently attributed to younger profiles. This evaluation contributes to linking this necessary connection of current issues and challenges to ageism, sexism and other exclusions derived from territory and socio-spatial aspects. However, more research is still needed, and, in fact, a second phase of the fieldwork is underway to broaden the sample and to expand further evaluations of images.
This paper investigates positive perceptions of ageing in rural people aged 65 and over as a key predictor of the self-assessment of one’s health. Method: The sample covers a total of 3389 people from the ‘Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement’ (SHARE), wave 6 (W6, 2015). This research analyses men and women who live in a rural environment. A linear regression model is proposed to consider the dependent variable ‘self-rated health’ and independent variables based on measures of quality of life in older adults. This study confirms that rural women perceive their health on the basis of factors different to those of their male contemporaries. The variable ‘How often do you feel/think that you can do the things that you want to do?’ is associated with women’s self-perceived health. In men, a high relationship (with p < 0.001) is obtained for the variables ‘How often do you feel/think look back on your life with a sense of happiness?’ and ‘How often do you feel/think that family responsibilities prevent you from doing what you want to do?’ Certain daily activities (e.g., leisure or care), along with a positive perception of life, influence one’s perceptions of one’s own health, especially in the case of women. In sum, rural older women make a positive evaluation of their own health and ageing, while rural older men relate self-rated health to passivity and reminiscing. There is a need for further research on psycho-social and socio-spatial issues from an intergenerational, technological and gender perspective for rural and territorial influences to attain better health and quality of life for rural older people in comparison to urban people.
Loneliness is a subjective and unpleasant experience associated to a variety of physical and mental health problems. Older people face an elevated risk of loneliness. It is measured through self‐reported questionnaires, among which the most widely used one is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale. The latest version of this scale is called UCLA‐3, and it has not been validated in Spanish elderly population. This article aims to present a validation study of the Spanish version of the UCLA‐3 for its use with older people, by establishing its reliability and validity. Data were obtained from the second wave of a longitudinal research conducted with older adults attending Lifelong Learning programs. The sample consisted of 335 people aged 55-years old or older. Sociodemographic data were collected, and loneliness was measured with the UCLA‐3 and the de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Results have partially replicated a three factor structure already found in the literature in other populations. The present work provides relevant and innovative evidence, as this is the first time that the UCLA‐3 was analysed using ESEM statistical approach in a Spanish elderly sample.
With the significant growth in ‘baby boomers’ in the UK over the next 30 years, the APPG recommends a fresh approach to Government thinking so that, in future, older people are at the heart of their communities through ‘age-friendly’ planning, design and housing strategies that promote “living well at home”. It provided evidence that building new attractive apartments will not only provide a lifestyle choice for older people but also ensure that it can be adapted at a later date to accommodate a change in circumstance, thereby enabling someone to stay put due to frailty, illness or disability