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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

Print version ISSN 1809-9823

Abstract

TEIXEIRA, Jéssica Sobrinho et al. Aging and body perception of institutionalized senior citizens. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.1, pp. 63-68. ISSN 1809-9823.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-98232012000100007.

This study aimed to find, in the institutionalized senior citizens' discourse, which aspects were considered when they were asked about how they perceived their bodies. A semi-structured interview with social and demographic data was conducted, with a question on body perception and viewpoint. The type of analysis followed Laurence Bardin. It was found that 44.4% of the nine elderly interviewed had a positive body perception. The negative discourses (33.3%), in turn, have a clear connection with the presence of diseases. Only one senior citizen had a different discourse, with a purely biological body perception. Considering that people's body perception is permeated by meanings acquired throughout life, it was found that the body perception of 44.4% of the sample was associated to aesthetical factors. Through the interviews as well as an analysis of the literature, it was possible to conclude that body perceptions differ greatly, especially among the elderly. Although a positive body perception was found, the size of this sample did not allow generalizations.

Keywords : Aged; Body; Health of the Elderly; Homes for the Aged.

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