Barriers to social supports for older adults being ignored?

by nicolemorey59 on October 27, 2016 - 11:41am

 Social isolation has been proven to play a negative role for elders in terms of physical, cognitive and most importantly emotional health. Social supports play an important role in the lives of older adults, as their lives change many loose spouses and friends that have always been there, leaving many with no social activity. There are many community based organizations for older adults that provide a healthy social environment for those who are socially isolated. The majority of research on social isolation and the services provided older adults takes into account the barriers that prevent these services from being effective. While conducting my research, I found this article that is written for those who care for older adults. The article gives us a general idea of the importance of social supports for older adults and gives briefs review of a few community based options for seniors in need of social supports and how they are beneficial.

  The article I have chosen to focus on is called Social Suppport Activities Lead to a Better Quality of Life As One Ages.The article is written in brief paragraphs that lists some community based organizations that are great in aiding social isolation in older adults as well as supporting research to back her thesis. The author explains the importance of older adults having social supports in their lives. The article explains a few options for community based organizations that provide social supports such as senior centers, adult day care centers and assisted living facilities. These brief paragraphs explain what these centers are for and how they provide some social activity. The opinion of the author is backed by research on how many centers are currently in the United states along with personal interviews from volunteers and seniors who have attended these centers. The article was written for those who provide care for older adults and in my opinion is an easy read and can be understood by someone who has no knowledge of the importance of social supports throughout the aging process.

The author seems to have basic knowledge on this topic and is shown in this article. Although, this article is well written and backed with research I feel there is some missing information that is useful on this topic. There are many barriers that can prevent an older adult from utilizing these community based centers and the result of these barriers prove to be a main factor in social isolation. This article in my opinion, since written for adult care givers is lacking in explaining these barriers. One barrier that I have found throughout my research is the lack of transportation to get these elders to and from these organizations. This is one of the few articles I have found on social isolation that does not discuss this barrier. Although a well written article and informative on the centers that are available to older adults, it is lacking in giving us any information on why these may not be an option for a large portion of older adults. 



Social support activities lead to better quality of life as one ages. (2011, August 8). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from


Women are told they need to look a certain way. We are shown time and again what passes as attractive in magazines and music video. There is a stereo typical look that many women feel they need to live up to. If we can't afford a good doctor to fix all the flaws, that most likely are not actually flaws, then we start with the one thing we have control over. Our food. We look at what we "should" eat and what we want to eat. Some, as in most, justify what they are eating by voicing how we shouldn't be eating this or we must work extra hard on tomorrow's workout. Per the article, women are most likely to feel the need to justify what they are eating and the consequences for their choices around other women but will also in some cases do it near men. Do we do this because we are judging ourselves or because we feel we are constantly being judged? Does the need to justify our food choices come from the women who are idealized in magazines?
I know that there are many times that I have felt the need for no good reason to point out that I don’t need to be eating a certain food but I am going to anyway. I never truly thought about what exactly it was that I was doing until reading the article. It is a fine line to walk on between self-respect and self-loathing. One comment from the wrong person, at the wrong moment can send us spiraling so far off that line that we have a hard time getting our balance back. One comment from the right person, at the right time can boost your confidence sky high. So why do we let others affect us so much? It is because it has become the norm to judge ourselves and others based on appearance. We tend to link our appearance to food choices rather than linking it to genetic makeup. We link it and blame the one thing we have control over, food. In the end is it us judging ourselves or is it the judgements that we feel we are receiving from others that causes us to make so many justifications to our food choices? We need to learn to like ourselves and each other. In an ideal world, this would be as easy said as done. Of course, we don’t live in the ideal world. So, we need to start with ourselves. Your choices are your own and you need to own them. Start by making choices and not explaining yourself. Eat that cupcake or finish those french fries with your salad and be content in your choices. Learn to be kinder to yourself. Others will follow suite.


Thank you for this great article outlining the social isolation of elders ! You seem to be concerned with the issue as much as I am. Thus, i'd like to share with you an organization i've been researching lately; Little Brothers. Little Brothers really engages with the senior citizens across the province to provide a wide range of services that complement their health and social services. They fight isolation and loneliness with their pairing and celebrations program that allows for elders to have a friend visiting regularly and being with many other people for holidays ! The organization carries two important values; that every human is irreplaceable and unique. This shapes their everyday work they do with thousands of elders. If you wish to volunteer, simply fill in the form available on their website’s volunteer page [] and enjoy !