Background Mental and physical health problems are the main challenges during old age especially those who suffer from chronic problems and become bedridden.
Objective The broad objective of the study was to examine the perceived psychological well-being of elderly people.
Methods A group of 200 elderly people, 100 male and 100 female, participated in the present study voluntarily. In addition to a specially designed Semi-structured Questionnaire, four psychological study tools Psychological General Well-being, The Satisfaction with Life, Subjective Happiness Scale, and Maslow’s Security and Insecurity Feeling Inventory were used for data collection after local adaptation. The study was carried out in 2014 in Kolkata, India.
Results Data pertaining to psychological variables i.e., Psychological General Well-being, Subjective Happiness and Feeling of Security are concerned, male elderly people were found to be with higher mean scores compared to their counterparts i.e., psychologically male elderly people were in better state of mind compared to female elderly people. However, statistically significant difference was found between male and female with respect to Subjective Happiness and Feeling of Security only (p < 0.01). Data with regard to psychological variables further segregated in terms of marital status in order to ascertain whether married people were psychologically with better mental state compared to their unmarried counterparts. Mean score of married elderly people in Psychological General Well-being was found to be 88.98 compared to unmarried elderly people’s mean score i.e., 86.54 although statistically insignificant. Interestingly unmarried elderly people were found to be more satisfied in life and statistically it is significant at 0.05 levels. At the same time, unmarried people had better feeling of happiness compared to married people, although statistically insignificant. On the other hand, married elderly people had better feeling of security compared to unmarried elderly people. Although neglect had negative effect on all domains of mental health considered in the present study, statistically significant difference was found in case of subjective happiness only i.e., feeling of subjective happiness was low among elderly people who experienced neglect in the family.
Conclusions In general, male elderly people were found to be psychologically in better situation in terms of Subjective Happiness and Feeling of Security. However, when the mental health issue of married and unmarried elderly people was compared, it was found that Psychological General Well-being and feeling of happiness of unmarried people was better than that of married elderly people. Findings of the present study speak in favour of arrangement of recreational and group activities in the Old Age Homes for better mental health of the elderly people.
- Elderly people
- mental health
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