Healthy Ageing in Place: Enablers and Barriers from the Perspective of the Elderly. A Qualitative Study

Most elderly people wish to grow old at their own homes. The sociodemographic characteristics; home and neighbourhood conditions; and the social services support and networks are determinants in the possibility of “ageing in place”. The present study aimed to explore the ageing in place phenomenon, as well as the enablers and barriers that interact in a healthy ageing from the perspective of the elderly connected to local entities. Methods: A generic qualitative design was proposed in the Health Region of Girona in Catalonia (Spain). Seventy-one elderly people were purposefully selected. Six focus groups were conducted, and data were thematically analysed. Results: Three key themes were generated: (1) Participants experienced ageing differently. The physical and mental health, the family environment and financial stability were key elements for life quality. (2) The perception of the elderly’s role in the community depended on their age, health status and attitude towards life. (3) The participants identified several enablers and barriers to healthy ageing in place. Conclusions: The promotion of older people’s autonomy and wellbeing, together with the creation of an active network of health and social services, may improve the possibility for elderly to age at home and avoid or delay institutionalisation ​
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