In the aging society of Japan, the extension of healthy life expectancy is indispensable for managing the high medical and nursing care expenses and shortage of manpower for care workers. Further, it is important to improve the health literacy as social skills of the elderly for the management and maintenance of their health abilities. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey with 227 healthy elderly who participated in a bowling tournament, to clarify the conditions of health literacy and issues related to the necessary support.Only 9.7% of elderly collected health-related information. Most of the elderly used the support of their family or friends more often than that of health professionals to facilitate their health maintenance. A t test revealed that the total health literacy score and the communicative and critical health literacy scores were high among the elderly with a chronic illness or those with children. The functional health literacy score was high among men or those who could use the internet or smartphones. These findings suggest that the elderly collected, confirmed, and selected information from conversations with their family or friends about their own health concerns. Collecting information from the internet is considered an effective skill of maintaining health; however, as the elderly have various kinds of complicated health histories, they need individualized care. Moreover, it is necessary to support the health behavior of the elderly with diseases by offering them opportunities to contact health professionals.
Kaori Hatanaka, Osaka University, Japan
Emiko Yamamoto, University of Miyazaki, Japan
Tomoko Tanaka, Okayama University, Japan
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology
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