Isolation among elders and caregivers

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Social Work

Document 1

Isolation is mostly related to loneliness as its common to find the elderly alone or in places that can be described as lonely. In this paper, a study will be conducted to determine the factors that result in isolation among elderly people in Hong Kong. Introduction The number of people above 65 years of age in Hong Kong has been increasing steadily for the past decade. The 2016 census report indicated that there were about 1. million elderly people spread across Hong Kong (Yu, Lam & Lee, 2006). Most of these people are not working and mostly rely on the working population for assistance and survival efforts. The number of suicides among the elderly has increased in the last ten years. Isolation has been described as one of the leading causes of suicides among the elderly. People in this demographic characterization often find themselves lonely and in solitude most of the time. This study seeks to identify the specific factors and reasons for increased cases of elderly isolation in Hong Kong and the remedies that can be applied to reverse the trend. Review of Literature Yu, Lam & Lee (2016) conducted a study to identify why there was a high prevalence of mild cognitive impairment among the elderly in Hong Kong. In the study, they established that loneliness and depression were the main contributing factors to their condition. The study also reported that family depression mainly caused by loneliness (Yu, Lam & Lee, 2016). Family issues such as disagreements and economic factors result in a life of solitude for most of the elderly (Tomaka et al.

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The inability to communicate with family members about their well-being also results in isolation for most of the elderly (Donini et al. Similar studies have also been conducted to determine the reasons for the isolation of the elderly. Lou & Ng (2012) discovered that social relationships with family members were the main contributing factor to solitude. Most of the elderly were not on good terms with their family members (Chi & Chou, 2001). Death of immediate family members like children and spouses also contributes to life in isolation among the elderly (Zhang & Liu, 2007). Additionally, missing family members also result in serious emotional predicaments for the elderly (Wu et al. For the elderly, the factors can be classified into two; elderly factors or conditions and caregiver conditions. The relationship between the two is relevant plus the impacts they have on the community and the social environment with respect to elderly treatment.

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Ethical Issues The study is reliant on the voluntary participation of anonymous elderly people. The decision to join and participate in this research and complete the questionnaire rests on the participants. The decision of the participants, either to accept or to decline to take part in the research, will not result in any unfavorable consequences. The study aims to establish a general overview of the relationship between caregivers and the elderly. This will form a basis of understanding the issue of isolation. Respondents will be required to rate on a scale of 1 – 5 the nature of their relationships. Several aspects of a relationship will be included for rating and a total score established. Community and Society. Elderly mistreatment will also be assessed after the respondents have provided data through regression analysis to identify their validity.

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Population The target of this research is 200 respondents (both the elderly and the caregivers) in Hong Kong. Elderly people who are above the age of 65 years will be included in the study. Caregivers who are over the age of 18 years will also be allowed to participate in the study. The elderly people will be the primary target of the study to determine the factors that contribute to their isolation. Under this philosophy, the study can collectively and effectively relate the different conditions faced by the elderly in Hong Kong. To collect relevant data, the study will conduct a survey directed towards elderly people and those who provide care to them in Hong Kong. Data Collection Plan A questionnaire is the main data collection tool in this study. The questionnaire will exist in two versions of English and Chinese to cater for respondents who may not understand or have the ability to communicate in English.

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A pilot study with both versions of the questionnaire will be conducted to identify and safeguard their validity and reliability and where necessary, improvements are developed. References Chi, I. Chou, K. L. Social support and depression among elderly Chinese people in Hong Kong.  The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 52(3), 231-252. Lou, V. W. Ng, J. W. Chinese older adults’ resilience to the loneliness of living alone: A qualitative study.  Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue Canadienne du vieillissement, 25(2), 141-151. Tomaka, J. Thompson, S. Palacios, R. The relation of social isolation, loneliness, and social support to disease outcomes among the elderly. Yan, E. C. W. Tang, C. S. K. Case study research: Design and methods (applied social research methods).  London and Singapore: Sage. Yu, J. Lam, C. However, more research is needed to ascertain the relationship that exists between elderliness and isolation.

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As a result, the research will try and test the following hypotheses Hypothesis 1 H0: There is no statistical significance between elderliness and isolation H1: There is a statistical significance between elderliness and isolation Hypothesis 2 H0: There is no statistical significance between the elderliness and the care provided H1: There is a statistical significance between the elderliness and the care provided Hypothesis 3 H0: There is no statistical significance between isolation of the elderly and the roleplayed by the community H1: There is a statistical significance between isolation of the elderly and the roleplayed by the community Hypothesis 4 H0: There is no statistical significance between isolation in the elderly and health conditions H1: There is no statistical significance between isolation in the elderly and health conditions Appendix 2: Ethical Review Form YES NO Please provide relevant information under each item to facilitate consideration for an expedited review 1.

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Will the research involve respondents who are of no legal, physical or mental capacity to provide valid and informed consent to take part in the research (i. e. children, mentally ill)? √ All the respondents will be people with legal, physical and mental capacity to either accept or deny participating in the study 2. Will the research process result in collection of personal identifiable information from the participants? √ Appendix 3: Informed Consent Form English Version I am a student from the University of City University of Hong Kong conducting a research about why there is a perception of isolation among the elderly people in Hong Kong. This research is purely for academic purposes, although it may be used to form a baseline for future research on the topic. There are no reasonably foreseeable risks or expected benefits from participating in this study.

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This study is anonymous and no personal identifiable information will be collected. Information collected in this study will strictly be kept confidential and questionnaires destroyed after analysis of data is done.

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