Social connectedness and self-perceived health of older adults in New Zealand
journal contributionposted on 20.07.2021, 21:28 by P Saravanakumar, NKG Garrett, Kim Van Wissen, J Montayre, Karen McBride-Henry
The objective of this research was to explore social connectedness and associations with self-perceived health amongst older adults in New Zealand at a population level. The data for this analysis were derived from the 2016 Health and Lifestyle Survey, a nationally representative survey administered via face-to-face interviews. The findings from this analysis of 1,374 respondents, all of whom were over the age of 55 years, highlight that being female, belonging to older age groups (above 70 years), being employed full-time or part-time, connecting online with known people, considering cultural connections to be important and not feeling isolated from others are significantly and positively associated with positive self-perceived health. The findings underscore the resilience potential of older adults and importance of social connectedness for positive health and well-being. In addition, the findings reveal target areas that would benefit by intervention and support by health professionals and policy makers.