Sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics of elder self-neglect in an US Chinese aging population

Xinqi Dong

Publication Date: 05/01/2016

This study aimed to examine the socio-demographic and socioeconomic characteristics associated with prevalence and severity of elder self-neglect in an U.S. Chinese older population. The PINE study is a population-based epidemiological study in the greater Chicago area. In total, 3159 Chinese older adults were interviewed from 2011 to 2013. Elder self-neglect was assessed with systematic observations of a participant’s personal and home environment across five domains: hoarding, personal hygiene, house in need of repair, unsanitary conditions, and inadequate utility. Elder self-neglect was prevalent among older adults aged 80 years or over (mild self-neglect: 34.6% 95% CI 30.9-38.4; moderate/severe: 15.6% 95% CI 12.8-18.6), men (mild: 28.6% 95% CI 26.1-31.3; moderate/severe: 13.1% 95% CI 11.2-15.1), those with 0-6 years of education (mild: 32.2% 95% CI 29.7-34.9; moderate/severe: 12.6% 95% CI 10.8-14.5), and those with an annual personal income between $5000 and $10,000 (mild: 30.8% 95% CI 28.4-33.2; moderate/severe: 11.8% 95% CI 10.2-13.5). Older age (mild self-neglect: OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03; moderate/severe self-neglect: OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.03) and lower education levels (mild self-neglect: OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03-1.08; moderate/severe self-neglect: OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.04-1.09) were associated with significantly increased odds of elder self-neglect. Women (moderate/severe self-neglect: OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.58-0.93) had significantly decreased odds of moderate/severe elder self-neglect. No significant association was found between levels of income and overall elder-self-neglect of all severities. Future research is needed to examine risk/protective factors associated with elder self-neglect in U.S. Chinese older populations.