Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Good Intentions Not Enough To Protect Older Women Who Live Alone

Date:
March 31, 2009
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Older women who live alone are vulnerable to unwanted intrusions in their homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caregivers of older women often evaluate crime risk and home security, but fail to identify women's intentions to reduce intrusion risk. Researches have found that in order to feel safe at home, older women need to recognize safety risks and perceive themselves as capable of preventing intrusions.

Older women who live alone are vulnerable to unwanted intrusions in their homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caregivers of older women often evaluate crime risk and home security, but fail to identify women's intentions to reduce intrusion risk.

In a new study, a University of Missouri professor has found that in order to feel safe at home, older women need to recognize safety risks and perceive themselves as capable of preventing intrusions.

"Older women's intentions to ensure accessibility to their homes for family, friends, and neighbors can override their concerns about preventing intrusions," said Eileen Porter, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing. "Health care providers need to engage older women in conversations about the risks they perceive and their intentions to reduce those risks."

Previously, researchers had not evaluated the use of intention as a component of home safety assessments. The findings of this study reveal the need for safety interventions to supplement basic safety tips, Porter said.

"To ensure that older people avoid victimization at home, health care providers often focus on providing recommendations such as locking the doors and installing security systems," Porter said. "However, it is not enough to ask if they are locking their doors, because the meaning of that term varies among people. Some women, who affirm that they are ‘locking the door,' are locking their front door at night and during certain seasons of the year, but otherwise leaving front and back doors unlocked."

Older homebound women who express worry about intrusions can benefit from carrying a portable phone or subscribing to a personal emergency response system, Porter said. Women who own portable phones but do not carry them can benefit from conversations about why they choose not to carry phones and questions about how they would reach help quickly if potential situations arise.

"Caregivers and nurses should develop individualized safety interventions based on older women's intentions to protect themselves and reduce intrusion risks," Porter said. "Nurses should conduct multiple interviews and ask questions about safety perceptions, potential reasons for reaching help quickly and how to reach help immediately."

Porter interviewed 40 homebound women, ages 85 to 95 and living alone, about their perceptions of feeling safe at home and precautions to protect themselves. The women reported various intentions about reducing intrusion risk, perceived capabilities in intrusion situations, and frequency of carrying devices that enable them to reach help quickly. Their main intentions to reduce risks at home were keeping watch, keeping out of harm's way, preventing theft and vandalism, discouraging people who might want to get in, and keeping those people out. Porter says these issues are important to consider when developing assessment questions and safety interventions.

The studies were funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Reducing My Risk of Intrusion, An Intention of Old Homebound Women Living Alone. Nursing Research, October, 2008
  2. Contemplating What I Would Do If Someone Got in My House, Intentions of Older Homebound Women Living Alone. Advances in Nursing Science, 2008

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Good Intentions Not Enough To Protect Older Women Who Live Alone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183514.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2009, March 31). Good Intentions Not Enough To Protect Older Women Who Live Alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183514.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Good Intentions Not Enough To Protect Older Women Who Live Alone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183514.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins