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FSD2457 Symptoms of Depression among over 75-year-old Seniors Living in Helsinki Alppiharju District 1992

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Authors

  • Tepponen, Pirkko

Keywords

care of the elderly, depression, elderly, health, housing for the elderly, memory disorders, mental health, social isolation, social support, symptoms

Abstract

This Finnish survey studied senior citizens of over 75 in the Alppiharju district in Helsinki in terms of their physical and mental health, living arrangements, social interaction and support received.

The respondents' mental processes were first investigated by asking questions about the interview date, their age, the president at the time etc. Subjective satisfaction with various things in life (e.g. economic situation, health, personal caregiver) was examined. The respondents were asked whether they had had certain mental and physical symptoms, such as crying fits, decreased appetite, palpitations, disorientation, hopelessness, dissatisfaction and suicidal ideation.

Housing was surveyed with questions covering the time lived in Helsinki, region/neighbourhood of origin and reasons for moving. The respondents were asked about their retirement, whether they had been widowed, whether they had lost a close person and whether they had divorced or separated. The respondents' chronic diseases were charted as well as their sight and hearing, use of medical supplies and equipment, and use of medication. Received social support was studied by asking who the respondents lived with, whether their family members lived close by and whether they visited or were visited by family, friends or neighbours. The respondents' hobbies were also charted.

Need for care and aid was investigated with questions focusing on primary caregiver, home and support services received, other treatment received, acceptance of care and aid, primary professional caregiver, frequency of caregiver visits, desired frequency of caregiver visits, and problems for which care or help was needed. The final set of questions covered perceptions on old age, church membership and religion.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age group, marital status, education, social class, type of accommodation and housing tenure.

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