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On-line version ISSN 1807-5762
FREIRE JUNIOR, Renato Campos and TAVARES, Maria de Fátima Lobato. Health from the viewpoint of institutionalized senior citizens: getting to know and value their opinion. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2005, vol.9, n.16, pp. 147-158. ISSN 1807-5762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-32832005000100012.
The objective of this study was to analyze the perceptions that the elderly from the Lar dos Idosos Monsenhor Rocha, Caratinga, MG, Brazil, elderly's home have of their own health, at this time in their lives. Towards this end, a qualitative study was undertaken with a group of elderly people - residents of that asylum -, in which they were submitted to a semi-structured individual interview. So as to arrive at a more profound comprehension of the issue, we also investigated the internal documents of the institution concerning its residents. The analysis of data from the interviews revealed very interesting findings as, for example, the comprehension and the broad perspective the subjects had concerning the concept of health. Based on this concept, the main results suggest that there is a very important relation between work, social network, spirituality, state of health and happiness. Moreover, growing old in good health and being happy are concrete possibilities for these people. The situation in which they find themselves, - institutionalized -, was able to awake, within these elderly people, feelings of nostalgia and desires that emerge as expressions of exclusion and limitations.
Keywords : Old age peoples' health; elders' health; institutionalization; health promotion.