Dynamics of family and social life during advanced old age
This study is based on a five-year follow-up of a cohort of octogenarians. The authors examine whether, during advanced old age, a growing frailty in functional health correlates with a weakening in the family and social life among survivors. Results indicate a decrease in the number of contemporaries – spouse, siblings, close friends – and a stable number of descendants. The frequency of social contacts remains unchanged, but the pattern of service exchange is altered, with the elderly gradually moving from an active role to a help-receiver position. If, on the whole, relationships are stable, the family and social life is impoverished among the elders without direct descendants.
Pin, S., Guilley, E., Lalive d'Epinay, C., & Vascotto, B. (2001). La dynamique de la vie familiale et amicale durant la grande vieillesse [Dynamics of family and social life during advanced old age]. Gérontologie et Société, 98, 85-101.