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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

versión impresa ISSN 1414-3283versión On-line ISSN 1807-5762


GARCIA, Maria Alice Amorim et al. Senior citizens in the limelight: the discourses of illness. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2005, vol.9, n.18, pp.537-552. ISSN 1807-5762.

Concerned with improving the quality of the healthcare provided to senior citizens and with the resolvability of their health problems, and knowing that they often suffer from multiple, hard to control morbidities that are difficult to prevent, we tried to develop a better understanding of this problem from the standpoint of the main actors themselves, by listening to their interpretation of the process of falling ill and of the care required. The qualitative study conducted indicates that the perception of falling ill among the aged is based on the context of their lives and also relies on ability to work as a reference. Access to healthcare services and a technical knowledge of the illnesses were demonstrated, as evidenced by the description of signs and symptoms, causes and other associated factors. However, as personal experiences that encompass undergoing care, these discourses ought to be shared and the mediations they involve analyzed, to enable healthcare professionals to come closer to the context of falling ill and aging, as well as to the process of acceptance, thus making it easier for them to provide integral care, based on the quest for autonomy.

Palabras clave : senior citizen health; perception; illness; aging.

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