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The Influence of the Social Support on the Cognitive Functions of the Elderly Living in Old Age Asylums [Turk J Neurol]
Turk J Neurol. 2008; 14(2): 111-116

The Influence of the Social Support on the Cognitive Functions of the Elderly Living in Old Age Asylums

Semih Giray1, Yarkın Özenli2, Deniz Yerdelen1, Zülfikar Arlıer1, Sibel Benli1
1Department Of Neurology, Baskent University, Faculty Of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
2Department Of Psychiatry, Baskent University, Faculty Of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

OBJECTIVE: Although there has been a need for a systematic approach towards improving the care of the elderly in asylums, the related literature has been scarce throughout the world. In Turkey, the present knowledge about the cognitive functions of the elderly living in asylums is limited and the influence of social support on the cognitive functions is unknown.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the social support of family, friends, and others (doctors, nurses, social care experts and so on) on the cognitive functions of the elderly living in two physically different asylums.

METHODS: 136 elderly people living in two different asylums operating Social Services department were included in the study. The elderly people taking part in the study were administered the Standardized Minimal Test (MMT), The Scale For Depression In The Elderly, and Multi-Dimensional Social Support Scale in order to test the social support.
RESULTS: The MMT scores were low and the depression scores were high in the elderly in Group I and a significant difference was observed between the groups (t=- 4.94, p<.001, t=3.78, p<.001 respectively). Those in Group II had higher scores in terms of the support of friends and others and the statistical difference between the groups was significant (t=-7.89, p<.001, t=-8.05, p<.001 respectively). The relation between the support of friend and MMT was positive (0.655, p<.001). A positive relation was also observed between the support of others and MMT (0.506, p<.001). A negative correlation was observed between the Depression Score and MMT (-0.518, p<.001). No difference was observed between the groups in terms of family support (t=-1.46, p=.14).
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate that there is a close relation between social support and cognitive functions. We feel that the improvements in the physical conditions in the asylums and the introduction of more effective psycho-social rehabilitation approaches will contribute greatly to the promotion of the cognitive functions of the elderly.

Keywords: social support, cognitive function, old age asylum


Semih Giray, Yarkın Özenli, Deniz Yerdelen, Zülfikar Arlıer, Sibel Benli. The Influence of the Social Support on the Cognitive Functions of the Elderly Living in Old Age Asylums. Turk J Neurol. 2008; 14(2): 111-116

Corresponding Author: Semih Giray, Türkiye


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