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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

versão impressa ISSN 1809-9823versão On-line ISSN 1981-2256

Resumo

MARI, Fernanda Rigoto; ALVES, Gehysa Guimarães; AERTS, Denise Rangel Ganso de Castro  e  CAMARA, Sheila. The aging process and health: what middle-aged people think of the issue. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2016, vol.19, n.1, pp.35-44. ISSN 1981-2256.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14122.

Objective

To understand the perception of middle-aged adults regarding health and the aging process.

Method

A qualitative study involving 30 adults aged 45 to 59 years old, 15 of whom were female and 15 of whom were male, who answered open questions about their perception of health and aging. Data was analyzed using the thematic content analysis technique.

Results

Almost half of the respondents had not finished elementary school and only three had a university degree. A total of 27 were married, five were retired and 25 worked in the service provider sector, 26 were Caucasian, and 27 belonged to social-economic class B. The perception of health was described as being related to taking care of oneself (physical, mental and spiritual welfare), to being active and having the will to live. Regarding aging, the middle-aged persons had already begun to perceive signs of this process such as slowness to perform daily tasks, fatigue, muscle pain, rheumatic pain, a slowing of weight loss, gray hair, impaired vision and hearing, difficulty performing some movements, marks on skin and forgetfulness. Regarding protective actions, the practicing of physical activity, a healthy diet, social and family life and having some sort of occupation were mentioned. The greatest desire was to reach an older age with good health, independence and good living conditions.

Conclusion

Although the data of the present study cannot be generalized, it is an important starting point for future research, since the results reveal concerns that can be reduced to support programs of healthy aging.

Palavras-chave : Health; Aging; Middle Aged.

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