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Social capital and successful aging: the role of senior housing.

Annals of Internal Medicine

Author: Cannuscio, C., Block, J., Kawachi, I.
Year: 2003
Type: Journal Article


Social capital is defined as the resources available to individuals and groups through social connections and social relations with others. Access to social capital enables older citizens to maintain productive, independent, and fulfilling lives. As the U.S. population ages, accompanied by a rise in the prevalence of seniors living alone, the availability of social capital within communities will become an important ingredient of successful aging. Recent evidence suggests that many traditional forms of social capital in communities-as represented by civic engagement in local associations and by the extent of voluntarism and social trust-are on the decline. If this observation in correct, there is no simple solution to rebuilding this lost social capital. Novel forms of senior housing, such as planned care developments and assisted-living facilities, may offer promising modes of delivery of social capital to the aging population. However, assisted living remains financially inaccessible for a large segment of the U.S. population, so investment in communities "aging in place" may be the key to delivering the health dividends of social capital.

Further Details

Full Title Annals of Internal Medicine
Pages 395-399
Volume 139
Issue 5 (Part 2) supplement
Accession Number August, 2010
Keywords North America, older, housing improvement

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