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Opinion Article - (2022) Volume 12, Issue 4

Relationship between Social Support and Body Image and Death Anxiety in Elderly People

Chiappedi Martina*

Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Corresponding Author: Chiappedi Martina
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

E-mail:[email protected]

Received date:  30-Mar-2022, Manuscript No. NPY-22-57977;

Editor assigned date: 01-Apr-2022, PreQC No. NPY-22-57977(PQ);

Reviewed date: 12-Apr-2022, QC No NPY-22-57977;

Revised date: 25-Apr-2022, Manuscript No. NPY-22-57977(R);

Published date: 02-May-2022, DOI: 10.37532/1758-2008.2022.12(4).625



Physical, mental, and social ageing are thought to be three interrelated processes of ageing, according to researchers. Various processes of transition from one social basis to another are involved in social ageing. In each individual, these three processes occur at varied and heterogeneous levels. Today, a complex web of social factors influences health, which has a significant impact on the quality of life of the elderly. Researchers discovered that social support has a moderating function in the link between loneliness and depression. Social support is very important in determining life satisfaction and quality of life. A link between social support and physical exercise was discovered in another study.

According to the shield theory, social support protects people from diseases by shielding them from the stress they face in everyday life. Social support can help elders feel less stressed. Interaction with people helps to alleviate sadness while also boosting self-esteem, hope, and overall happiness. Elderly persons who are involved in active social networks receive informal social assistance and have better mental and physical health than those who are not.

Death and death dread are two issues that the elderly experience. Death is an unavoidable truth, and death dread is one of the factors that influences whether or not health-promoting behaviours are implemented. Death is viewed differently by different people. For some, it is a step in life, while for others, it is the conclusion. Those who hold the former viewpoint appear to be less concerned about mortality, but supporters of both viewpoints are anxious to think about dying. Death anxiety is defined as a fear of death in terms of oneself and others, and it is a multifaceted concept that is difficult to define.

To put it another way, death anxiety comprises both anticipating one's own death and fearing the death or dying process of loved ones. Death anxiety, according to Moorhead et al., is a vague feeling of worry or tension caused by genuine or imagined perceived risks to one's existence. Death anxiety is a sort of anxiety that affects people's mental and physical health while they are still alive. Death anxiety, according to Lehto and Stein, begins with an increased awareness of death, which is manifested through reminders of one's mortality.

The physical look changes dramatically as one gets older. Body image is a general appraisal of oneself that is based on people favourable or negative mental evaluations of their physical attributes. Individuals who have a positive body image embrace their own talents and weaknesses, which boosts their social confidence. Negative body image expresses feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. When you get older, your body image becomes more complicated. The idea that ageing is synonymous with ineptitude and incapacity is at the root of society's unfavourable attitudes regarding ageing. According to recent study, body image problems are becoming increasingly common among seniors, with females having a higher frequency. Body-image concern in elderly individuals, in particular, causes emotions of devaluation and low self-esteem, lowering quality of life and causing irreversible damage. Kim et al. looked into body image, sex role quality, depression, and quality of life in the elderly of South Korea and found a link between quality of life, body image, and sex role quality. Death anxiety is viewed differently by men and women due to gender, which is regarded one of the effective elements in death fear. According to the findings of certain studies, elderly women have higher death anxiety than men of the same age.

According to research, death anxiety in the elderly is linked to social support, religious observance, thankfulness, life satisfaction, hope, and mental health. Although several studies have looked into the relationship between social support and old age-related psychological aspects, no studies have looked into the relationship between body image and old age-related variables. Death anxiety in the elderly is influenced by social support, body image, and demographic characteristics (age, gender, and economic position). As a result, the findings of this study can give national and regional health policymakers with the knowledge they need to adopt successful initiatives in this area. Furthermore, the findings may pave the door for further research in this area. The goal of this study, according to the above-mentioned viewpoints, was to investigate the relationship between social support and body image and death anxiety in Yazd City elderlies in 2019.

Body Image and Death Anxiety

The goal of this study was to look at the relationship between social support and body image and death anxiety among the elderly in Yazd, Iran. In addition, the relationship between demographic features of participants (such as age, gender, marital status, and economic position) and research factors was investigated. According to the data, death anxiety was negatively correlated with family support, others' support, and total social support. Death anxiety and body image have been demonstrated to have a beneficial association. To put it another way, a poor body image was linked to higher levels of mortality dread. There was no evidence of a link between age and research factors. Body image was not predicted by social support dimensions, while death anxiety was adversely predicted by others' support. When men and women were compared, males scored better in the dimension of buddy support than women. In terms of the research factors, there was no significant difference between single and married people. Improvement in economic position raised the levels of family support, others' support, and total social support, according to the data. Finally, those with a low socioeconomic status experienced more death anxiety than those with a moderate socioeconomic status.

Some studies have found that having support and attention from others, particularly family and children, can lower death anxiety in the elderly, which is consistent with the findings of this study. When compared to instrumental and informational support, emotional support had a larger correlation with death anxiety, according to the research. To lessen death anxiety, close relationships appear to work as excitement-regulating functions. In other words, social support can help seniors cope with despair, frustration, and financial and physical concerns, improving their quality of life, life satisfaction, and hope.

Social support was linked to mental well-being and loneliness, according to Chalise et al. Old age is related with poor physical and mental strength, social inefficiency, and loneliness in most countries around the world, including Iran. In terms of the intimacy factor of social support, Bahrain claims that those who have close ties with those around them are healthier. Having deep ties with people has been shown in numerous studies to be a determining factor in preventing suicide and mental illness, including depression. Close and trustworthy relationships are good based on intimacy patterns. According to Cohen, people's perceptions that some individuals will assist and support them in stressful times can have a favourable impact on their psychological state and lead to increased mental well-being.

Dread of dying in a painful manner, fear of dying alone, fear of abandoning people, worry of the things you did not do, and fear of what might happen after death are all examples of death fears. Thinking about dying alone or feeling sad and grief at the time of death increases death anxiety. As a result, it is reasonable to conclude that those with a larger social network are less fearful of dying alone. They also understand that there are individuals who will assist them if they become ill.

There was no evidence of a link between social support and body image. The elderly's body image is influenced by community culture, according to research. According to evidence, women have a more negative body image than males, and women are generally more dissatisfied with their physical appearance than men. Life satisfaction is significantly predicted by social support and body image. However, the importance of body image in couples' pleasure with each other is highlighted. Seniors' social support appears to be unaffected by their physical appearance. In other words, the physical appearance of the elderly has little bearing on the community members' willingness to provide social support. The seniors' life history and communication network with their peers throughout their lives undoubtedly play a larger part in their social support.

Men scored higher than women in the factor of friend support in the current study. Men have a larger social network as a result of their considerable occupational engagement, which explains this conclusion. As a result, they have a higher number of friendly relationships than women. We can state that people with higher socio-economic status have better physical and mental health, have higher employment status, and are more involved in society in order to explain the association between good socio-economic status and increased social support. Finally, there are numerous ways to investigate the link between death anxiety and poor economic condition. One argument is that low socioeconomic position is linked to the dread of dying from chronic diseases and disorders that require expensive care. Another aspect to consider is that other factors, such as psychiatric diseases, might influence both low economic status and death anxiety (e.g., depression). Depression not only affects infirmity in the elderly, but it also raises unpleasant thoughts about dying's.

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