Together, but still apart
Older adults who live with family members are more likely to feel socially isolated, compared to seniors living alone, according to the findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, conducted by a team led by Professor Koh Woon Puay from the Healthy Longevity Translational Research Programme at the NUS Medicine, and Associate Professor Feng Qiushi from the NUS Arts and Social Sciences. The study also showed that among those living alone, men were twice as likely to experience social disconnection, compared to the women.
Prof Koh recommends targeting community interventions to elderly men living alone, and extending its scope to older adults in poor health who live with their families. Assoc Prof Feng and her have collaborated with other scientists in NUS and other research institutions to establish the SG70 Towards Healthy Longevity cohort study, to gather scientific evidence that will form the basis for intervention studies in the near future that may slow, halt or reverse the ageing process.
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