Who do centenarians rely on for support? Findings from the second Heidelberg centenarian study
|Title||Who do centenarians rely on for support? Findings from the second Heidelberg centenarian study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Boerner, K, Jopp, D, Park, M-K, Rott, C|
|Journal||Journal of Aging and Social Policy|
|Keywords||caregiving, Centenarians, informal support, social networks, social relationships, very old adults|
This paper provides a detailed picture of the sources and types of informal support available to centenarians, depending on their housing and care arrangements. Participants were 112 centenarians and 96 primary contacts of centenarians enrolled in the population-based Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study. Findings indicate that children of centenarians were their primary source of support in daily life. Those without living children had overall less help. Most frequently reported was help with administrative tasks, regardless of centenarians’ residence or living arrangement. All other types of help (e.g., with activities of daily living and housework) were reported by about one-third and were mostly provided by children; centenarians without children were more likely to have friends/neighbors involved in some of these tasks. The one category reported by a third of the centenarians regardless of residence, living arrangements, or presence of a child was help with socializing/companionship. Findings constitute an important step toward identifying and meeting the support needs of centenarians and their families. Policy implications are discussed.