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Are older individuals who live alone in Sweden at increased risk of vulnerability? An investigation of personal and community factors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction: In Sweden today a third of all those 60+ live alone and the absolute number will continue to increase because of the aging population. The aim of this thesis was to identify if the subgroup, older individuals living alone, might be more disadvantaged in regard to the four key sources to vulnerability suggested by Mechanic and Tanner (2007): Poverty and low socioeconomic status, personal functions, low social network and lack of support, and physical location. Gender differences were also investigated.

 

Method: Data was from the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD) collected in 2014. The total sample in this thesis includes 987 individuals with an age between 70-105. To estimate the current living conditions in regard to vulnerability among the subgroup, five dimensions of vulnerability were analyzed with multiple logistic and linear regressions.

 

Results: More disadvantages are found for those men and women living alone in all domains, except in social activity for women where living arrangement made no difference. Significant gender differences can be seen in depressive symptoms and social activity, but not for financial insecurity, mobility problems or living in a disorganized local community.

 

Conclusion: Men and women living alone are more disadvantaged compared to those living with a partner, according to the four key sources to vulnerability. With this deeper insight it is possible to obtain a greater understanding in where policies to support and strengthen this subgroup should be placed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 41
Keywords [en]
Living alone, vulnerability, older individuals, social isolation, socioeconomic status, functional impairments
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157319OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157319DiVA, id: diva2:1218619
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Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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