A Systemized Review of the Lived Experiences of Community-Dwelling Older Adults

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A Systemized Review of the Lived Experiences of Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Category: Dissertation discussion

Subcategory: Education

Level: University

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

A Systemized Review of the Lived Experiences of Community-Dwelling Older Adults

The advancement in medical technologies, as well as public awareness and education, has had many positive effects on the overall physical and psychological health of the society. One of the profound effects of technological advancement and the availability of treatment and management options for previously unpredictable medical conditions is an increase in the lifespan of the population (Borglin et al. 2005 p. 202). Subsequently, unlike historical times, the modern society has a high number of individuals in the category of the elderly thus the need to understand the opportunities and challenges that are pertinent in this category of the population. The gaps in previous studies have been from the minimal knowledge available because of the relatively small elderly population (Borglin et al. 2005 p. 202). However, as the elderly population is increasing, so is the need for the society to understand their position towards the implementation of policies that will incorporate the segment of the population as productive members of the society.
The study focused on secondary data collection with a review of the literature that is available on the subject. The sources of information were, therefore, the library and internet material that contained offline and online publication respectively in the perspective of different researchers. Most literature in the analysis of the elderly population focuses on the challenges that the individuals in this group face. In fact, a significant proportion of the literature agrees that the age defining presentations that include the physiological and psychological decline of the individual’s health represent a significant proportion of challenges for the elderly as they near the peak of the human lifecycle (Singh and Misra, 2009 p. 52). Further, the minimal abilities that come with physical activity result in confinement and ultimate isolation of the elderly members of the population. The outcome is a variety of psychological factors with the principle manifestation being extreme loneliness for the elderly individuals because of isolation by other members of society including family members (Bekhet and Zauszniewski, 2012 p. 215).
Results and Analysis
According to Archana Singh and Nishi Misra, the series of processes that begin at the onset of life and represent the lifecycle of the individual constitute aging (Singh and Misra, 2009 p. 52). Consequently, the peak of aging is a point in the lifecycle when the individual looks back at their cumulative experiences as well as accomplishments as the lifespan draws to closure. The aging period is also marred with physical challenges for the individuals and therefore, the need to develop coping skills that will allow their adaptation to the changes in their lives. The focus on community-dwelling adults as a group of participants in the study presented a structured avenue for analysis. The individuals experience similar daily conditions under the care of professionals, and the process of record keeping from their caregivers is a useful source of information for the analysis (Borglin et al. 2005 p. 202).
A separate consideration of factors that contributed to the outcome of the analysis is depression and its implication among the elderly. Croezen, Simone, Avendano, Mauricio, Burdorf, Alex and van Lenthe, Frank J in their analysis of depression in the elderly population determined that social participation determined the degree of depressive symptoms in the elderly population (Croezen et al. 2015 p. 4). The research questions in the study included prompts on the participation of the individual in volunteer and charity work as well as training, education, sporting activity, religious activities, and political organization of their membership to various clubs in the preceding month (Steunenberg et al. 2006 p. 244). In addition to participation in the activities, an important consideration in the analysis was also the frequency of attendance as well as participation in the various activities.
On the overall, the individuals with frequent participation and engagement in an array of social activities had relatively lower depressive symptoms than the category of participants in social isolation (Bekhet and Zauszniewski, 2012 p. 215). The measure of depressive symptoms followed the format of the EURO-D which included various phases to define depressive symptoms in the elderly population (Croezen et al. 2015 p. 4). The phrases included pessimistic tendencies for the participants, lack of sleep and appetite in addition to excessive fatigue and irritability. Other depressive symptoms that the analysis focused on included death wish and guilt among participants in addition to minimal concentration, minimal enjoyment with the individual constantly being at the point of being in tears.
The changes in the physical and psychological capabilities of individuals as they reach the peak of their lifecycle is often associated with depression from an inability to cope, particularly in the individuals with minimal social cycles for support (Singh and Misra, 2009 p. 52). Social cycles provide the social participation that among other things aids the elderly population in maintaining physical fitness while remaining with a sense of self-actualization to ward-off the depressive symptoms.
The project was originally undertaken to analyze the Lived Experiences of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. The analysis of the experiences in the population category would thus focus on their background and life experiences as well as the respective implication to their present situation as elderly members of the society. According to the literature, the period marks a point in the lifecycle of the individual in which they reflect upon their life experiences.
The study determined that minimal social participation is a significant contributor to depressive symptoms among the elderly (Croezen et al. 2015 p. 4). Therefore, on the recommendation is for the occupational therapy among the elderly to increase their level of social participation. The elderly can be encouraged to engage in clubs and societies with likeminded individuals who can share in their previous passions that include sporting and religious participation.
Implications of the Study
The direction in the original undertaking in the analysis was to determine the association between social activity and depression among the elderly. The results of the project, therefore, contribute to the literature on the subject, besides, determining the measures of success in the rehabilitation of the elderly members of the society so that they can cope with their age-related challenges in the context of social and professional implications of the study (Steunenberg et al. 2006 p. 244). The political and legal factors associated with the policies necessary in the care of the elderly individuals as well as the possible restrictions on their participation in the community activities.
Direction for Future Studies
The direction for future research in the analysis of the connection between social participation and depressive symptoms in the elderly is thus in increasing the literature on the connection between the two variables. Future research can thus focus on the gaps that include the analysis of distinct data and information on the psychological changes associated with social participation among the elderly members of the society.
Reference List
Bekhet, A. K., and Zauszniewski, J. A., (2012), Mental health of elders in retirement communities: is loneliness a key factor? Archives of psychiatric nursing, 26(3), 214-224.
Borglin, G., Edberg, A. K. and Hallberg, I. R., (2005), The experience of quality of life among older people. Journal of Aging Studies, 19(2), 201-220.
Croezen, S., Mauricio, A., Burdorf, A. and Frank J. L., (2015), Social participation and depression in old age: a fixed-effects analysis in 10 European countries, American Journal of Epidemiology. ISSN 0002-9262
Singh, A. and Misra, N., (2009), Loneliness, depression, and sociability in old age [Manuscript] Ind Psychiatry J. 2009 Jan-Jun; 18(1): 51–55. doi: 10.4103/0972-6748.57861
Steunenberg, B., Beekman, A. T., Deeg, D. J., and Kerkhof, A. J., (2006), Personality and the onset of depression in late life. Journal of affective disorders, 92(2), 243-251.

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