This is AS IT IS.
Hello, I’m Caty Weaver. On the show today, we discuss issues affecting the elderly and those who care for them.
We start with a report from Karen Leggett about a British study. It examines the connection between social activity and death rates among older people.
Then we visit a different kind of day care in Virginia. It provides important services to people with dementia and their caregivers.
A new study has found that older people who are socially active might live longer than those who are alone more. But researchers say loneliness is not the main problem. Karen Leggett has more.
A number of studies have linked both loneliness and social isolation with an increased risk of death. What’s the difference?
Andrew Steptoe is with University College London. He says social isolation means limited or no contacts with friends and family, or involvement in groups or sports.
“Whereas loneliness is a more subjective experience to do with a person’s feelings of companionship or feeling left out.”
However, there is a strong connection between loneliness and social isolation. Professor Steptoe and his research team wanted to find out which one was more important. The research team examined information from a large study of older men and women called the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. They found no meaningful difference between higher death rates and loneliness. But social isolation was a different issue.
“And when we did the statistical analysis, what we found was that social isolation was indeed related to higher risk of dying.”
It is not clear why people with more social contacts are likely to live longer. There are some apparent reasons, like a person is more likely to survive a heart attack if someone nearby calls for help. But Andrew Steptoe suggests other reasons.
“Receiving encouragement to do things or not to do things, other people to help you with your medications or take you to the doctor, and things of that sort – which are not so much to do with the emotional side of it as more the practical side. And it could be that those things are the more important factors here.”
The study was done in Britain. Professor Steptoe says studies are taking place in other places where traditional social systems are changing.
“In many developing countries, of course, people with a rural background are moving into the larger cities, where the social connections are very, very different, and often it’s the younger people who are moving, leaving the older people in the more rural areas. And so these kinds of social connections are going to be changed dramatically.”
The research into social isolation and death rates was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
I’m Karen Leggett.
eg. He always tries to link his study with his ideological problems.
eg. He encourages parental involvement in the running of school.
3.subjective adj. 主观的；个人的
eg. Try to avoid being subjective and one-sided when looking at problems.
4.companionship n. 伙伴关系；友情，友谊
eg. She had never had any close companionship with another woman.
5.whereas conj. 鉴于； 然而； 反之
eg. Some people like coffee, whereas others like tea.
6.meaningful adj.意味深长的； 有意义的
eg. The company was one of the first to offer meaningful employment to the blind.
1.It provides important services to people with dementia and their caregivers.
vi.抚养，赡养（+for）；做准备；预约（for 或 against）
We flatter ourselves that we provide the best service in town.
They would not provide any details...
2.and often it’s the younger people who are moving, leaving the older people in the more rural areas.
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