Aim: The relationships between frailty and neighborhood social resources and neighborhood quality among community-dwelling older people are poorly understood. We therefore enquired into these associations while controlling for important individual characteristics. Methods: Our cross-sectional study included 945 out of 1440 (66% response rate) community-dwelling older people (aged ≥70 years) in Rotterdam. The sample included approximately 430 older adults per district and was proportional with respect to neighborhood and age. Potential participants were mailed questionnaires, non-respondents were first sent a reminder, then asked by telephone and finally visited at home to complete the questionnaire. Results: Age, sex, marital status and level of education varied between the frail and non-frail. A significantly larger proportion of the frail was female (64.4% vs 48.0%; P≤0.001), fewer were married (22.1% vs 48.4%; P≤0.001) and the frail were, on average, older than the non-frail (78.8 vs 76.0 years; P≤0.001). A significantly larger proportion of the frail were poorly educated (25.9% vs 18.6%; P≤0.01). Multilevel regression analyses showed that older age (P<0.001) was associated with higher likelihood of frailty and marital status (P<0.001) with lower likelihood of frailty. Feeling more secure (P<0.001) and having a stronger sense of social cohesion and neighborhood belonging (P<0.05) seemed to protect against frailty. Conclusion: The results of this study support the importance of feeling safe, social cohesion and a sense of belonging within the neighborhood. These findings could have important implications for efforts to reduce frailty of older people within communities.

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Geriatrics and Gerontology International
Erasmus School of Economics

Cramm, J.M, & Nieboer, A.P. (2013). Relationships between frailty, neighborhood security, social cohesion and sense of belonging among community-dwelling older people. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 13(3), 759–763. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0594.2012.00967.x