Lifestyle of Elder Individuals and their Relationship with Neighborhood

Special Article - Geriatric Medicine

Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2016; 2(5): 1026.

Lifestyle of Elder Individuals and their Relationship with Neighborhood

Gocer S¹*, Ozdemir C², Sibel A³, Ahmet O4 and Mumtaz MM5

¹Kayseri Public Health Division of Health Ministry, Turkey

²Department of Forensic Science, University of Erciyes, Turkey

³Department of Internal Medicine, University of Erciyes, Turkey

4Department of Biostatistics, University of Erciyes, Turkey

5Department of Family Medicine, University of Erciyes, Turkey

*Corresponding author: Semsinnur Gocer, Kayseri Public Health Division of Health Ministry, Kayseri Public Health Directorate, Chronic Health Care Branch, Seyitgazi Mahallesi Melikgazi, Kayseri, Turkey

Received: August 24, 2016; Accepted: November 22, 2016; Published: November 24, 2016


Objective: Problems encountered at old age including abuse and neglect is an emerging issue in Turkey and worldwide. Here, we aimed to contribute available data by assessing relationships with family and neighborhood, living conditions and frequency of neglect or abuse in elder population.

Materials and Methods: The data used in this study was extracted from a cross-sectional study conducted on 907 elder individuals from Kayseri Province. A questionnaire regarding sociodemographic characteristics, health status, physical and emotional distress was completed by researches through face-toface interviews.

Conclusion: We think that better understanding of sociodemographic characteristics will contribute prevention of abuse and neglect in this population.

Keywords: Elder individuals; Abuse and neglect; Relationship; Living conditions


Old age is a period characterized by increased dependency to other individuals for primary needs due to decreased functionality, loss of social status resulting from changes in cultural values and traditional structure of extended family, and detriments in economical status caused by retirement and productivity loss with emerging social problems. Abuse and neglect has become an important social problem in elder population that has been addressed worldwide. To prevent elder abuse and neglect, it is crucial to understand symptoms of abuse and neglect and risk groups [1].

Abuse and neglect can be encountered in all elder individuals. However, vulnerable elders having any kind of illness and those with mental disorder, dependency for primary needs or depression comprise particular risk groups [1,2]. Elder abuse has been long disregarded although it becomes an increasingly common problem. In the literature, most elders subjected to abuse are women older than 75 years who are vulnerable due to disease or disability and share a common house with perpetrator. It is thought that perpetrator is likely to have psychological problems; history of alcohol and substance abuse, and to be subjected to violence at childhood. Literature search revealed that there is limited number of studies on this topic from Turkey [2-5].

In this study, we aimed to evaluate relationships of elder individuals with family and near surrounding and their living conditions, and potential risk factors for abuse/neglect.

Subjects and Methods

The data used in the present study were extracted from Kayseri Elderly Health Study (KEHES) conducted between August, 2013 and December, 2013. The protocol of KEHES study was described in details [X], and briefly, it is a cross-sectional study in Kayseri province where estimated elder population is 89,303. The sample size of the study was calculated to encompass 1% of elders living in Kayseri province. The inclusion criteria were all community-dwelling elders aged 60 years or older. Overall, 907 elders were included to the KEHES study. All elders were invited to Family Health Centers (FHCs) by their own family practitioner. The elders invited were chosen by stratifying according to socioeconomic status, age and gender. A questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics, living conditions, health status self-care abilities, physical and emotional stress and nursing conditions was completed by researches through face-to-face interviews. In addition, standardized Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) were used to assess cognitive status and depressive symptoms in the KEHES study. The MMSE is a widely used test to assess cognitive functions, which has five domain including orientation, memory, attention and calculation, recall and language. The GDS includes 30 items that can be responded as “Yes/No”.

In the present study, data obtained from 535 cases in the original KEHES study were analyzed. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) for Windows version 15.0 was used to analyze data collected. Pearson chi-square test was used for comparisons among groups. p<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.


Of 535 subjects included, 58.5% were men and 76.4% were married. Of study population, 60.7% were retired and 22.4% were illiterate. Table 1 presents sociodemographic characteristics of patients.