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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

PAVAN, Fábio José; MENEGHEL, Stela Nazareth  and  JUNGES, José Roque. Elderly women dealing with institutionalization. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp. 2187-2189. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008000900025.

This study focused on institutionalization of the elderly from the perspective of gender studies. The aim was to understand the effects of institutionalization on the lives of elderly women and their strategies to deal with this situation. The study used a qualitative methodology and was conducted in a long-term care facility for the elderly, with 110 individuals from Alto Uruguai, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Data collection used discussion groups with ten elderly women participating. Content analysis was used and identified three main categories: the nursing home as a total institution, gender, and strategies to deal with institutionalization. Half of the women had chosen to live in the nursing home, while the others complained about their confinement to what they considered "a dump for old people". The gender category permeated the women's lives, which included domestic activities in the "home" in order to pass the time. Strategies to deal with institutionalization included religious rituals, handicrafts, and walks.

Keywords : Health of Institutionalized Elderly; Aging; Women.

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