Psicologia & Sociedade
On-line version ISSN 1807-0310
ARAUJO, Ludgleydson Fernandes de; COUTINHO, Maria da Penha de Lima and SANTOS, Maria de Fátima de Souza. The elderly in geriatric institutions: a study from the perspective of social representations. Psicol. Soc. [online]. 2006, vol.18, n.2, pp. 89-98. ISSN 1807-0310. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-71822006000200012.
The objective of this work is to identify and compare social representations of old age among elderly people from Socializing Groups (SG's) and Long-Permanence Institutions (LPI's). A number of 50 elderly people have participated (25 from SG's and 25 from LPI's) from both genders (male - 40%, and female - 60%), with an average of 82. Semi-Structured Interviews have been carried out individually inside geriatric institutions. It was processed by Alcest software (Reinert, 1990) through a Descendant Hierarchical Analysis which makes possible to analyze the lexical roots, considering the word as a unit, it also offers the context of the word in the corpus. Data obtained showed representations in two antagonistic poles: on the one hand there are the experiences related to gains and on the other hand the losses inherent to old age. Social representations of old age on a negative connotation and commonly associated to the binomial old age-sickness were verified. The importance of psychosocial interventions, which priority is to increase the quality of life of the elderly, was pointed out.
Keywords : old age; geriatric institutions; social representations.