250258 Meanings of a Good Old Age: Quality of Life of Older Adults who Receive Home and Community Based Services

Monday, October 31, 2011

Anne Soon Choi, PhD , Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Assistant Professor California State University Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, MSW , Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Eva M. Durazo, MPH , Deparment of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Jacqueline Torres, MPH, MA , School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
A.E. (Ted) Benjamin, PhD , School of Public Affairs, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health; Center for Health Improvement in Minority Elders/Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Steven P. Wallace, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Drawing on a sample of qualitative interviews from a study of low income, disabled California older adults, this paper examines how community dwelling older adults who receive home and community based services (HCBS) define a “good old age.” In much of the prevailing literature, a good quality of life has been tied to positive health outcomes, however the data collected for this research suggests that health outcomes may not be the only determinant of a good old age. Data were collected on older adults (age 65 and over) who utilize long-term in-home care services and supports and suffer from a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the older adult. Utilizing grounded theory, data were independently coded by at least two researchers. The results of thematic analyses suggest that older adults did not necessarily define good old age in the context of health outcomes. Instead, a good old age was defined in the context of independent living and social networks and the public programs that make it possible for older adults to live on their own.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the role of public programs that allow older adults to remain in their communities 2. Describe the social network of older adults to allow them to live independently 3.Explain the interactions between social networks, independent living and quality of life

Keywords: Aging, Quality of Life

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a MPH and Social Welfare student at UCLA. I routinely teach courses on aging
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.