Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação
On-line version ISSN 1807-5762
GAMBURGO, Lilian Juana Levenbach de and MONTEIRO, Maria Inês Bacellar. Singularities of aging: reflections from conversations with an institutionalized elderly person. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.28, pp. 31-41. ISSN 1807-5762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-32832009000100004.
This paper deals with some peculiarities of the life of an elderly person living in a long-stay institution, interviewed within a study context in which investigating the language (considered as dialogic practice) of elderly people whose communication skills remained intact was the aim. The narrative allowed us to find out about living conditions and some specific features such as: (1) early institutionalization; (2) the interdependence between the reasons for voluntary institutionalization and the situation regarding abandonment; and (3) the apparent impropriety of using the term "elderly" to include individuals with very different ages. Five women and one man were interviewed. These interviews enabled examination of memories, feelings, values, interpersonal relations and the language itself. We hope to provide support for looking at elderly people's communication such that it is considered to be a fundamental symbolic system for social inclusion, instead of centering on changes considered "typical" of old age.
Keywords : Aging; Language; Institutionalization.