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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158-163

Quality of life of senior citizens: A Rural-Urban comparison

1 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Government College of Nursing, Kottayam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Nursing, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. V K Usha
Government College of Nursing, Kottayam, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.181104

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Background: The experience of aging is unique to every individual because of the individual differences in personalities, varying social support network, and differing cultures to which one belongs. Quality of life (QOL) of senior citizens is greatly influenced by their previous lifestyle, culture, education, health care beliefs, family strengths, and integration into the communities. Aims: To assess the sociodemographic profile, QOL, and to compare the QOL of senior citizens in rural and urban areas. Methodology: Data were collected from 830 rural senior citizens and 120 urban senior citizens through multistage random sampling technique. The tools used in this study were sociodemographic data sheet and WHO QOL-BREF-26. Results: Majority of senior citizens belonged to the age group 65–75 years in rural (65.3%) and urban (65%) areas and majority were females (rural 61.4% and urban 66.7%). A major percentage (44.7%) of senior citizens in rural areas lived with their spouses and children, whereas 40% of them in urban areas lived with their children and 40% with their spouse and children. Majority of study subjects in rural (90.6%) and urban areas (97.5%) were not involved in any social activities. The senior citizens in urban areas showed better QOL than the senior citizens in rural areas. This was statistically significant in the overall perception of QOL, the overall perception of health, physical health, psychological health, and environment (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study showed that QOL was poorer among senior citizens in rural areas. In India, the population of senior citizens is greater in rural areas where the health care facilities are minimal. Hence, policies and programs related to senior citizens should be launched in rural areas without neglecting the needs of urban senior citizens. Training of voluntary workers, health care professionals, and family members on the care of senior citizens should be implemented. QOL of senior citizens could be enhanced only with the support of family members.

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