Texto & Contexto - Enfermagem
Print version ISSN 0104-0707
CRUZ, Rosana Cancelo da and FERREIRA, Márcia de Assunção. A certain way of being old: social representations of old age by elderly family members. Texto contexto - enferm. [online]. 2011, vol.20, n.1, pp. 144-151. ISSN 0104-0707. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-07072011000100017.
This study aimed to better understand the social representations of old age among relatives of hospitalized elderly and to discuss their implications for home care by the elderly person's family, according to the Theory of Social Representations. The subjects were 22 relatives of hospitalized patients in a long-term institution. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and submitted to thematic content analysis, from which the categories about what old age is and being old is were organized, indicating typifying characteristics of these objects. The social representations of old age relate it to a stage of loss and give it a negative connotation, alluding to personal and social interaction models, as well as the ways to care for the elderly. A better understanding of such social representation and the actions which are demanded from it is essential in dealing with family members, considering that they care for elderly family members at home.
Keywords : Elderly; Nursing care; Social psychology.