Social support for health-related leisure activity of the elderly and the relationship with health status and life satisfaction
AbstractInferences from previous research suggest that social support from friends and family is important in influencing physical activity participation in enabling the elderly to achieve better health outcomes and satisfaction with life. Within a South African context, some of the elderly
are faced with the prospect of increased isolation and loneliness. For others, old age may be a time of gaining respect and veneration in a community. Hence, the purpose of this study is to assess family and friends social support for health-related leisure activities among the elderly. The secondary purpose of the study is to explore the influence of social support on respondents’ health status and life satisfaction. A cross-sectional survey covering a sample of 75 respondents aged between 60 to 69 years was undertaken. Factors analysis resulted in two distinct social
support factors through data reduction of variables, namely, friends and family support. Results infer that social support seems to be strongly correlated with life satisfaction and social support factors moderately influence life satisfaction. However, social support showed a weak
relationship with health status. With the changing demographic profile and health changes taking place in our communities, there is a need for low cost, available, practical forms of leisure and recreation for improving the well-being of the elderly.
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