Health> Vol.6 No.7, March 2014

Health Promotion and Life Course Dynamics: Transitions of Brazilian Elderly

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ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding life transitions is important to help people to achieve their developmental needs. No studies have examined the patterns of responses to life transitions, eliciting the experiences of growing old of retired Brazilian older adults. Aim: To identify and describe the patterns of responses to life transitions of retired Brazilian older adults. Design: Using a theoretical perspective of transition as a guide, a qualitative, secondary narrative research design was incorporated to obtain data from 11 interviews. Method: Initial data collection took place during a broader study on the influence of people’s working life history. Eleven autonomous and independent persons, 64 - 82 years old, were interviewed at a geriatric outpatient unit in Rio de Janeiro to obtain their perceptions of old age. The secondary, narrative holistic-content analysis focused on the patterns of responses to life transitions. Results: The first turning point was a childhood event and the next was their first job. The third turning point was moving to another place/house or another city, the fourth starting a family, and retirement was the last turning point. Conclusions: While older people may feel environmentally disconnected throughout life, their patterns of response, together with the available resources and prevention/interventions influence the transition process. Health Promotion actions are needed at vulnerable points during the transition process, thereby facilitating the health outcomes.

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Cite this paper

Caldas, C. and Berterö, C. (2014) Health Promotion and Life Course Dynamics: Transitions of Brazilian Elderly. Health, 6, 616-624. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.67080.

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