Ageism and Social Integration of Older Adults in Their Neighborhoods in Israel

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 40
Oral Presentation
Esther IECOVICH , Public Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Adi VITMAN , Golan Research Institute, University of Haifa, Israel
Nurit ALFASI , Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Purpose: The paper aims to examine the extent to which ageism is connected with the social integration of older adults in their neighborhoods and to identify factors that explain social integration.

Design and Methods: A convenience sample that included 300 older adults aged 65 and over and 300 younger people under the age of 65 who resided in three neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, with varied socio-economic status were interviewed. Kogan’s Attitudes toward Old People scale was used to probe ageism. Social integration index included three dimensions: frequency of participation in activities in the neighborhood, familiarity with neighbors, and sense of neighborhood. Hierarchical regression analyses examined three groups of independent variables: older adults’ socio-demographic characteristics, their perceived health and outdoor mobility, and neighborhoods’ characteristics including level of ageism.

Results: Neighborhoods varied by levels of ageism and social integration. Higher level of social integration of older neighborhoods' residents was explained by a combination of factors: younger age, better self-rated health, and fewer limitations of outdoor mobility, lower levels of ageism reported by a sample of younger respondents, and higher socio-economic status of the neighborhood.

Implications: To enable better social integration intergeneration programs should be developed to decrease ageism and in order to make communities more age-friendly there is need to facilitate accessibility to services and public spaces