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Print version ISSN 1657-5997


VARGAS-SANTILLAN, María de Lourdes et al. Meaning of Health: The Experience of the Elderly. Aquichan [online]. 2017, vol.17, n.2, pp.171-182. ISSN 1657-5997.

The meaning of health during old age is based on achieving a state of well-being. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that benefit or affect accomplishing that goal.


Analyze what health means to older adults, based on their experiences.

Materials and methods:

This is a qualitative study based on content analysis and semi-structured interviews. Twenty elderly adults who frequented a geriatric care center were selected intentionally and determined by means of a saturation index.


The meaning of health is manifest in the ability to do things. Accordingly, health is conceived as a useful means to obtain a benefit, be it material, moral or physical. Family ties are important and were even compared to health. The participants also equated health with the absence of pain and disease.


Health is experienced by the elderly in a family context. Well-being is perceived as the ability to do things, even if pain and illness are present.

Keywords : Geriatric nursing; the elderly; perception; family relationships; nursing care.

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