Individual and social identity of residents of old people's homes in Slovenia
Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the degree of individual and social identity of the elderly in institutional care. The paper analyses the data, hitherto unavailable in Slovenia, in order to contribute to the caregivers' knowledge of how to help their clients preserve and maintain their dignity, self-respect and identity.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during the period December 2005-January 2006. Included in the study were 164 elderly residents of 20 old people's homes. The study instrument incorporated 36 statements addressing individual (15), narrow social (18), and broad social identity (3), which the respondents were asked to agree or disagree with. The Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to facilitate data analysis of the respondents' gender, age, education and original residence environment.
Results: The results of the study showed no correlation between the degree of individual identity and the respondents' gender, age, education and original residence environment. The correlation between the narrow (p=0.007) and broad (p=0.016) social identity and the residents' educational level, however, was statistically significant. In the latter two cases identity was least pronounced in most educated respondents.
Conclusion: Educational level of old people's home residents correlates positively with their social identity crisis. The findings may contribute to caregivers understanding and recognition of their role in assisting the more educated elderly effectively alleviate or prevent their social identity crisis. In view of the foregoing, the residents' quality of life and their overall well-being can be improved.
Kovačev AN, Zaletel M. Identiteta starostnikov in njene značilnosti. In: Rugelj D, editor. Posvetovanje Celostna obravnava starostnikov, 24. november 2006, Ljubljana. Zbornik predavanj. Ljubljana: Visoka šola za zdravstvo, 2006: 107-122.
Statistični urad Republike Slovenije. Statistični letopis 2006. Ljubljana: Statistični urad Republike Slovenije, 2006.
Altman DG. Practical Statistics for Medical Research. London: Chapman & Hall, 1993.
Cohen-Mansfield J, Parpura-Gill A, Golander H. Salience of self-identity in persons with dementia: differences in perceptions among elderly persons, family members and caregivers. Social Science & Medicine 2006; 62: 745-57.
Barrett AE. Gendered experiences in midlife: implications for age identity. J Aging Stud 2005; 19: 163-83.
Hagger MS, Anderson M, Kyriakaki M, Darkings S. Aspects of identity and their influence on intentional behavior: comparing effects for three health behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences 2007; 42: 355-67.
Hendricks J. Public policies and old age identity. J Aging Stud 2004; 18: 245-60.
Wellin C, Jaffe DJ. In search of "personal care:" challenges to identity support in residential care for elders with cognitive illness. J Aging Stud 2004; 18: 275-95.
Hogg MA, Fielding KS, Johnson D, Masser B, Russell E, Svensson A. Demographic category membership and leadership in small groups: a social identity analysis. The Leadership Quarterly 2006; 17: 335-50.
Beard RL, Fox PJ. Resisting social disenfranchisement: negotiating collective identities and everyday life with memory loss. Social Science & Medicine 2008; 66: 1509-20.
Strachan SM, Brawley LR, Spink K, Glazebrook K. Older adults' physically-active identity: relationships between social cognitions, physical activity and satisfaction with life. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2010; 11: 114-21.
Leith KH. Home is where the heart is…or is it?: a phenomenological exploration of the meaning of home for older women in congregate housing. J Aging Stud 2006; 20: 303-33.
Kontos PC. Resisting institutionalization: constructing old age and negotiating home. J Aging Stud 2006; 12: 167-84.
Joseph EJ, Martin-Matthews A. Growing old in aging communities. J Can Stud 1993; 28: 15-29.
Shenk D, Kuwahara K, Zablotsky D. Older women's attachments to their home and possessions. J Aging Stud 2004; 18: 157-69.
Dorfman LT, Murty SA, Evans RJ, Ingram JG, Power JR. History and identity in the narratives of rural elders. J Aging Stud 2004; 18: 187-203.
Atchley R, Barush A. Social forces and aging - an introduction to social gerontology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2004.
Moen P. The gendered life course. In: Bistock RH, George LK, Marshall VW, editors. Handbook of aging and the social sciences. 5th ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 2001: 179-96.
European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care. Luxembourg: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, 2009.
Frampton S, Gil H, Guastello S, Kinsey J, Boudreau-Scott D, Lepore M, Henfey A, Krebs R, Walden PM. Long-term care improvement guide. Derby, CT, Camden ME: Planetree, Inc. and Picker Institute, 2010.
Mali J. Starost, emocije in emocionalno delo. Soc Delo 2002; 41: 317-23.
Hojnik-Zupanc I, editor. Dodajmo življenje letom. Ljubljana: Gerontološko društvo Slovenije, 1997.
Williams KN, Warren CAB. Communication in assisted living. J Aging Stud 2009; 23: 24-36.
Groger L. A nursing home can be a home. J Aging Stud 1995; 9: 137-53.
Wreder M. Time to talk? Reflections on "home", "family", and talking in Swedish elder care. J Aging Stud 2008; 22: 239-47.
Tobin SS, Lieberman MA. Last home for the aged: critical implications of institutionalization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1976.
Pahor M, Hlebec V. Socialna omrežja in zdravje: spremembe v Sloveniji. Zdrav Var 2006; 45: 175-85.
Findeisen D. Starejši imajo pravico do dejavnega življenja. Zdrav Var 1999; 38: 57-60.
Krajnc A. Sprememba socialnega položaja, izobraževanje in usposabljanje za tretje življenjsko obdobje. Zdrav Var 1999; 38: 14-19.
Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General. Healthy ageing: keystone for a sustainable Europe - EU health policy in the context of demographic change. Luxembourg: European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General, 2007.