Intergenerational relations and subjective well-being among older adults in protected housing

Daniël J. Herbers, University of Groningen
Louise Meijering, University of Groningen

Social contact is important for subjective well-being at older ages. Later in life, support and social interaction becomes more focused on family members because of reduced social networks at these ages. However, whether and how intergenerational contact contributes to subjective well-being remains a point of discussion. In this study we focus on the importance of children for older adult’s well-being by examining experiences and perceptions of the elderly regarding the mutual relationship with their children. Moreover, we will see whether the availability of social contacts and care in the context of protected housing plays a role in the importance of intergenerational relations. Sixteen in-depth interviews were conducted and analysed in order to answer these questions. Although social interaction with neighbors is important for the respondents, results from the interviews reveal that especially the relationship with children is deep and intense. Therewith, children are the main contributors to SWB through offering emotional support and affection to older adults in protected housing. The context of living in protected housing where care and assistance is available when needed seems positive for the parent-child relationship. Arguably, contact with children provides emotional support because older adults in protected housing have practical support available that fits to their needs.

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Presented in Poster Session 1