last century has witnessed a rapid increase in the population of the elderly
people in the developed and industrialized countries. This phenomenon is not
restricted to the western world only, but many countries such as ours are now
feeling the impact of this transaction. India ranks 4th in terms of absolute
size of elderly population .The country is not adequately equipped to look
after their special health needs and the changing traditional value system. A
feeling is now growing among the aged persons that the attitude of the younger
generation towards them is not as desired. In the above context, a study was
conducted to understand the feeling of hardiness and meaning in life among the
elderly residing in the old age homes and within the family setup.The sample of
elderly people was selected using the “Purposive sampling” technique to select
30 elders from the old age home as well as a similar number from the family
setups. The data was collected using a specially designed Interview schedule
and observation technique through a house- to-house survey for those residing
in the families and through the questionnaires of hardiness (Bartone et al
1989) and meaning in life (Fraizer 2006). Non-working status of elderly people
and above 60 years of age was criteria for sample selection. Result of the
study revealed that most of the elderly felt the attitude of the younger
generation is unsatisfactory towards them especially those who were in old age
homes in terms of getting respect, love and affection from the family members
instead they were considered as burden for others. Elderly living in the
families had a positive attitude towards old age. The social relationship of
the elderly living in families and those living in old age home also differed.
Noticeably; there was a fall in the overall efficiency, sociability, degree of
involvement in work and hobbies. On the other hand, better social relations
were maintained by the family dwellers because they had regular interaction,
expressions of feelings and support from the family.
Keywords: Old Age Home, Hardiness, Meaning in Life
India is a
developing country and its urbanisation and modernization impacts shows on the
persons living style and there behaviours as well. Due to lack of resources,
financial crisis or personal reason people prefer living in nuclear family, in
which either they prefer living separately from their parents or force their
parents to live in other places like old age residences. A person of age 60 or
above is considered as ‘Senior citizen’ (National policy on older Persons;
1999). According to UN estimates, the elderly population in the world is
supposed to touch 22 percent by 2050. In 2006, the elderly constituted 11
percent of the world population. It is
estimated around 81 million elderly people live in Indian while 11 lakh resides
in Delhi itself and only four government running old age homes and thirty one
by NGO’s/private agencies/charitable trusts in Delhi (Azad India Foundation). Data shows among 250 million households
in India, 31.3% have at least one elderly person in a family (census 2011),
while Tamil Nadu has the highest (9.2%) elderly living alone in state where as
Assam is the lowest (3.0%) elderly living alone followed by second lowest
Delhi(2.5%) (Census2011). Following the western culture, Indian youths lacks
theirs responsibilities towards elderly members in household. The
younger generation is trying to re-define their social roles and identities
within as well as outside the family and due to which the old age homes are
now-a-days almost fully occupied by the elderly residents. They prefer the elderly to live outside
their personal space, or if, they allow them to live in household then they
don’t fulfil their need for living. Most of the cases younger ones abandoned
their Elderly family members (Parents/ Grandparents/Uncle /Aunt) and
don’t even come to visit them anymore. The facilities are lacking in charitable
and government run homes. The folk duty and conscience of children or young
adult towards their parents or elderly person is being crumbled and their
negligence and abuse has caused elders to get under the net of old age homes.
The elderly are in need of urgent attentions, love and affection from their
younger’s. They do not need their sympathy, but the understanding love and care
of their younger’s. Study on elderly people 60 and above (N=185) shows that 93%
have health issue, including depression were found to be
57.8%(Chalise.H.N;2012). In other study negative correlation -6.70 between
depression and psychological well-being among old age people were found
(D.Dhar,Y.Jogsan;2013). On the other Study on elderly people (N=150) shows that
47.33% of population had depression, among which 70.42% had mild depression and
29.58% had severe depression (Ranjan,S.Bhattarai.A;2014). Furthermore, Totuka.N
& Verma.B (2015) examined 60 elders (N=60, n1=30 living in old age home and
n2=30 living within family) and the study conclude the older people living
within family has better psycho-social factors than who living in old age home.
Conclusively we can hypothesize that old
age living residence have greater depressive , stressful and ill environment in
which some of them cope with it while others can’t. Some use the stressful as
there opportunities and challenge this called a hardiness and some find their
way towards meaning in life under these circumstances. Our study is to find out
the missing link and connects these dots between hardiness and meaning in life
with in old age home and personal residence living peoples.
Hadiness is a Intergration of attitudes
of commitment,control and challenges get together comprise a personality of
hardiness in which person converts the life stress’s in to a new opportunities
and growth. (see, Maddi, 1986, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008; Maddi, Harvey, et
al., 2006; Maddi, Harvey, Khoshaba, Fazel, & Resurreccion, 2009a; Maddi
& Khoshaba, 1994). Futhuremore , hardy person has control over life
problems and able to convert those problems in to a positive challenges
(Allred, K. D., & Smith, T. W ,1989). As forcasted by Kobasa’s (1982) Model
, findings shows that hardnesss person had lower illness level under the
stressfull constructs. (Kobasa, 1979; Kobasa, Maddi, & Courington, 1981;
Kobasa, Maddi, & Kahn, 1982; Kobasa, Maddi, & Puccetti, 1982; Kobasa,
Maddi, & Zola, 1983; Kobasa & Puccetti, 1983).however , some studies
didn’t find the similar results (Funk & Houston, 1987;Schmied,
1986). Moreover, Hardiness and compliance has been found moderate correlated in
elderly people and those who have adhere to follow diabetic regimen have
characteristics of hardiness ( Ross ,M.E.T ;1991). Futhuremore ,Under stress
hardiness is pathaway towards resilience ((Bonanno 2004; Maddi 2005). Other
studies shows probably ,social support to be a mediator of daily stresses may
have indirectly link with hardiness ( Ganellen, R. J., & Blaney, P. H. (1984). Hardiness and
social support were found related ,and both together improve the stress related
symptoms ( hardness directly related with health ( Wiebe, D. J., &
McCallum, D. M. (1986)). Hardiness seems to a specific form of coping
strategies , coginitive frame through which it provide resistance towards
illness .Like hardiness , meaning in life play a crucial role for healthy and
prosperous life. Lack of these traits cause frustration , stress, illness ,
depression and other psychopathologies. As we grow older and older meaning in
life gradually start blurring but still many mediating factors have an effect
on meaning in life its also depend upon the environment and circumstances and
traits person has adhere.
Frankl(1959,1967) , Believes , that meaning in life exists in all
extreme circumstances and restriction in meaning in life leads towards
‘noogenic neurosis’ . According to Maddi (1967) Absence of selectivity in
actions , Lack of interest and boredom is a symptoms of meaning in life .
(p313). Furthur more kobasa (1979)
describe that out of three components of hardiness –control ,challenge and
commitment, Commitment were found most related with meaning in life.Morever , Purpose of life and perceived meaning may
play a crucial role in coping with
developmental crisis while having a
sense of personal meaning gives the
aspiration to achieve a goal and purpose of life . and its found that perceived
mental and physical discomfort were
significantly associated with lack of
meaning and purpose in life ( Reker ,G.T ., Peacock,E.J.,& Wong
,P.T.P;1987). Conclusively , meaning in life having a well define role in life
, its gives the purpose and path to wards better living . As the person become
older the perspective to see the world and things changes drastically , In one
study on elderly people by herman and Jeffers found that one of three were moderately
worried about their future outcomes , while 50% shows absolutely no worries about their future . It
may be because they accept death ( Munnicha ,J.M.A ;1966) or due to less worry
less than young people ( feld ,S., Veroff ,J., Gurin.,G;1960). These studies
show the different type of perspective elderly pose related with their life and
future , these define their view towards life as a whole , meaning in life
solely concern in old age. In one study on elderly on two dimensions of meaning
in life ‘self-suitability measure’ and ‘External validation’. External
validation shows lower score while Self-Suitablity measure shows higher than
younger adults ( Ebersole ,P.,& DePaola,S; 1989). Another study on elderly
its shows greater meaning in life (Peacock , E.J.,,P.T.P;1984).
Similar results were found ,greater meaning in life in elder as compare with
younger (Ranst,N.V.,& Marcoen,A ;1996).
OBJECTIVES OF THE
the present study was conducted to compare the general feelings, hardiness and
meaning in life among the elderly living with families and in old age homes
with the following objectives in view:
examine the background profile of elderly living in old age homes and within
examine difference between hardiness among elderly living in old age home and
examine the difference between meaning in life among elderly living in old age
home and within family.
compare the environment of elderly living in old age home and within the
HYPOTHESES OF THE
In keeping the view of objectives of the
the following hypotheses were formed:
will be a significance difference between hardiness and meaning in life among
elderly living in old age home and within family.
will be a significance difference between hardiness among elderly living in old
age home and within family.
will be a significance difference between meaning in life among elderly living
in old age home and within family.
The present study was
conducted on the sample of 60 individuals of the age of 60 years and above. The
sample were divided into two groups, 30 were residing in Bhagwat Dham Old Age
home located in Mayur Vihar 1,New Delhi and other 30 were living within the
family set-up in different cities like New delhi, Lucknow and Aligarh. The
elderly were explained the purpose of the study and oral informed consent was
obtained from all participants before data collection. The data was collected
using two questionnaires of hardiness and meaning in life and through personal
interviews and observation technique through house to house survey for those
residing in the family. The elderly were non-working, retired and some were
quite educated. Through interview, the general information about their background
and general feelings such as depression and loneliness, etc were ascertained.
The data were collected in and around 2 months and thus the information
collected were analyzed through different scientific method and tabulation.
Meaning in life:
The Meaning in Life
Questionnaire (MLQ) is a 10-item self-report inventory designed to measure life
meaning having two dimensions of meaning
in life: (1) Presence of Meaning (how much respondents feel their lives have meaning), and (2) Search for Meaning (how much
respondents strive to find meaning and understanding in their lives).
Respondents answer each item on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1
(Absolutely True) to 7 (Absolutely Untrue).The MLQ has good internal
consistency, with coefficient alphas ranging in the low to high .80s for the
Presence subscale and mid .80s to low .90s for the Search subscale.
Azad India Foundation: Social issues: The problem of old age
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