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Anales de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 1025-5583


VERA, Martha. Quality of life meaning for the older adult and his family. An. Fac. med. [online]. 2007, vol.68, n.3, pp.284-290. ISSN 1025-5583.

Objective: To understand the meaning that the linguistic expression ‘quality of life of the older adult’ has for the older adult and his family. Design: Qualitative, descriptive, interpretative-comprehensive study, based on the Theory of Social Representations. Setting: Asentamiento Humano Laura Caller, en Los Olivos, Lima, Peru. Participants: Older adults and their respective families. Methods: Techniques and instruments consisted in observation, in-depth and focal group interviews; observation guide and two questionnaires with eight previously validated open questions. Main outcome measures: Quality of life significance for the older adult and his family. Results: Between 2004 and 2006 sixteen older adults and their respective family groups participated. ‘Objectivity’ and ‘anchorage’ speeches and general, ideographic-axial and nomotetic-I analyses allowed the emergency of four social representations: a) knowledge on aging and being an older adult; b) main and secondary elements on older adult quality of life meaning; c) older adult and family values and attitudes on quality of life; and, d) older adult needs as a social being and quality of life. Conclusions: To the older adult quality of life means to have peacefulness and tranquility; to be taken care of and protected by the family with dignity, love and respect; and as social being having satisfied his needs for free expression, decision, communication and information. For the family, that the older adult satisfies his feeding, dress, hygiene and house needs.

Keywords : Aged; quality of life; family; social indicators.

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