Special Issue "Social Engagement in Long-term Care Facilities for Aging People"
A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2019
The population of older adults is growing as a result of public health and technological advances throughout the recent decades. Although life expectancy varies across different countries with different levels of development, the overall trend is toward longevity and an increase in life expectancy.
Considering the division of labor theory, unproductive individuals will be marginalized if they do not have a specific role in the society. For many years, sociologists and gerontologists have been concentrating on the role of the aging population and some theories have been developed in order to explain how this group interacts with other age groups. Health care systems play a crucial role in maintaining healthy older adults and enhancing their health status. In addition to medical care, nonmedical residential care facilities assist their residents to perform daily activities and stay socially engaged and active. Nonetheless, older adults living in such facilities (e.g., assisted living facilities) are more susceptible to depression , anxiety and a high risk of suicide , as a suicidal attitude significantly correlates with social isolation, which can increase mortality . Cognitive function and social engagement are reciprocally correlated , and the level of cognition can predict the frequency of hospitalization . Some studies have focused on the social environment and how it can affect social bonds and contacts  and others considered the correlation between social engagement and outcome measures such as health-related quality of life .
A single-dimensional approach, for instance purely psychological or social studies, may narrow the gap in this field. Nonetheless, they miss some crucial inter-disciplinary aspects of aging and the health care system. Although many studies have concentrated on the social aspects of aging, there is still a huge gap between the academic findings and applied sciences, which can significantly impact on the health status of the aging population and the efficiency of long-term care. This Special Issue encourages researchers and scholars to concentrate their work on this critical issue. In addition, the results of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary projects can help policymakers enhance the quality of care and ultimately the quality of life of older adults, in particular those who live in residential facilities.
- Jang, Y., et al., Social engagement in older residents of assisted living facilities. Aging Ment Health, 2014. 18(5): p. 642-7.
- American Association of Suicidology. Elderly suicide fact sheet. 2009; Available from: http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=232&name=DLFE-242.pdf.
- Park, N.S., The Relationship of Social Engagement to Psychological Well-Being of Older Adults in Assisted Living Facilities. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 2009. 28: p. 461-481.
- Amini, R. Online social engagement and cognitive impairment. in American Public Health association. 2017. Atlanta, Georgia.
- Amini, R., et al., The Level of Cognitive Impairment and Likelihood of Frequent Hospital Admissions. J Aging Health, 2017: p. 898264317747078.
- Tornstam, L., Gero-transcendence:A reformulation of the disengagement theory. Aging 1989. 1: p. 55-63.
- Amini, R., Health-related Quality of Life and Social Engagement in Assisted Living Facilities, in Sociology. 2015, University of North Texas: Denton, Texas, USA. p. 93.
Dr. Reza Amini
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- long-term care
- social bonds
- quality of life