AGING AND OLD AGE
Aging is a long term process of change for both individuals and populations.
However, the concept and process of aging are surrounded by considerable controversy and suspect evidence. Human aging is a process of differentiation and individualization. Aging has two integral elements – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging means those age-related processes that are internal and specific to the individual, while extrinsic aging comprises those age-related changes that are brought about by external factors related to the physical and social environment of the individual (United Nations,1982 ). Older persons, who were born at a particular historical time, and in a particular region and society, belong to a cohort sharing similar social and historical experiences, life-styles and other characteristics which differentiate them from other older persons born at different historical periods in diverse social situations. Individuals derive social meanings and develop expectations regarding themselves, their families and their society as they grow older from these processes of aging and within the context of social, historical, cultural and economic situations.
Family Relations in Living Arrangements and the Quality of Life of Older Persons
The ageing scenario in India has transformed in the recent decades due to the observed demographic trends among the older population and rapid social change that has led to the decline in informal supports for older persons within the family, which may be adversely affecting their well-being. In this context, Living Arrangements (LAs) are identified as a basic determinant and an indicator of the care and nature of informal supports available to the older persons within the family, and therefore of their Quality of Life (QoL). In the current study, while understanding the family relations that are part of LAs of the older persons, the findings revealed who the hardest and easiest person to get along with them were, and that respondents’ perception about the level of interest shown by their family members towards their well-being varied according to their current LAs and seemed to impact their QoL and its related factors such as loneliness and adaptation to old age.
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