This last chapter summarizes the study and presents the conclusions suggested by the findings. Then, it proposes a few recommendations based on both the findings and discussion. Summary This study investigated the sense of well-being among the institutionalized aged in the Gladys Spellmen Specialty Hospital and Nursing Center Employing qualitative research design, the study explored the nature of subjective well-being, its indicators and contributing factors among the institutionalized elderly from the perspective of their administrators.
Specifically the study addressed the following questions: 1.
What is the concept of subjective well-being among the institutionalized elderly from the perspective of Gladys Spellman administrators? 2. What are the indicators of the cognitive and affective components of subjective well-being? 3. What are the factors which contribute towards the subjective well-being among the institutionalized elderly? The respondents of the study consisted of members of administration (N=6).
The data was obtained mostly by means of unstructured indepth interviews content analyzed and categorized; and the frequencies were described. The findings of the study showed the universally applicable features of subjective well-being affecting the sense of well-being among the institutionalized aged.
Based on the data analysis, the salient findings were as follows: Concept of SWB.
1. The concept of well-being among the elderly, as perceived by their administrators, could be understood as the experience of being at home with their past, at ease with the present and at peace with the future including the inevitable death through a willing surrender to God. 2.
Being at home with the past is to having no regrets about past and to have reached a stage that they are able to reconcile with and graciously accept what has gone before in their lives and having the feeling that life has been meaningful. 3. To be at ease with present is to have a sense of contentment in life and to have the gracious acceptance of the pain of growing old and physical decline. Despite their frustrations and pain of being away from home reported that they experience a sort of contentment and peace in their present stage of life in the given set up, based on the perceptions of their administrators.
4. To be at ease with the future includes one’s positive attitude towards the final reality of death and willing surrender in absolute trust to the Ultimate Reality/God. Indicators of SWB Cognitive Component 5. The indicators of cognitive component of SWB consisted in their belief that life was a gift from God and gratefulness is an appropriate response to that gift; meaningful living and faithfulness to duties of life are important keys to peace and happiness; and the belief that one’s life is secure in the hands of God. Affective Component 6.
The happiness/well-being of the institutionalized elderly rested on their sense of having a sense of peace and contentment in life, a sense of control of their life, feeling physically well, experiencing a sense of belongingness to the family and having the feeling that they are still wanted and cared for, and having a sense of security about future. 7. Feeling physically well and having physical mobility and the ability to attend to their personal needs and having a sense of control of their life gave them a sense personal autonomy and it made them feel good about themselves.
8. Sense of belonging particularly to the family and the feeling of being wanted, loved and cared for found to be essential components of the sense of well-being among the institutionalized aged. Contributing Factors toward Subjective Sense of Well-Being among the Institutionalized Aged Physical Health 9. Age specific physical health inclusive of food, accommodation, physical exercise, and recreational activities/expanded competence were found to be one of the most important variables in predicting well-being or happiness.
Those who enjoyed functional health or having basic competence and had come to terms with or maintained a positive attitude toward aging and the age-related physical decline, showed better sense of well-being compared to those with functional health but were still in non-acceptance stage. They found to be unsettled and unhappy according to the perceptions of their administrators. Freedom/Autonomy 10. Personal autonomy was found to be significantly related with life satisfaction and well-being among the elderly, which was also closely associated with financial security/freedom.
The experience of external freedom seemed to be leading the elderly towards internal freedom. Role of Money/Income 11. Money or income and the consequent security feeling attached was imperative in assuring sense of security, autonomy/control and personal pride among the elderly in the home for the aged. Meaningful Relationships 12. Nourishing or meaningful relationships is one of the factors positively affecting sense of well-being among the institutionalized aged.
Despite the fact that the the elderly at Gladys were forced to be in the home for the aged by the environmental factors/family situation, their present life satisfaction remained closely related to family closeness they experienced in the present in the past as well as in the present. The satisfaction that they had performed their duty to their children/family contributed considerably to their current sense of well-being. 13. The long standing friendships from the past and the current friendship among the elderly in the home for the aged contributed much to the well-being/happiness.
14. The positive relationhip with the people in responsibility or in other words the significant people in their present stage and sitution of life conferred them with a sense of importance, security and it affirmed their sense of worth and consequently the subjective experience of well-being of the institutionalized aged. Social Interest/Altruism 15. The social interest and altruism gave a sense of meaning in life as they learned to transcend themselves, and became absorbed in someone or something outside of them, forgetting their own little miseries.
This altered the level of happiness or wellbeing about half the elderly in the home for the aged. Concept of Time 16. There was an obvious concern with and an awareness of time; and the awareness of time/time consciousness among the institutionalized aged endowed them with a sense of urgency and purpose in the evening of their lives. The sense of immediacy or of present-ness, aid in the evolution of a sense of enjoyment and tranquility which ultimately are decisive elements of well-being.
Attitude towards Death 17. Fear or acceptance of death was closely related to general satisfaction in older adults as perceived by their administrators. Those who had a positive attitude toward death and looked at death as a natural transition from this world to the other and got reconciled with this inevitable reality of earthily existence enjoyed greater degree of well-being. Trust in God’s mercy and hope in eternal reward helped them cope with this fear of death.
Religion and/ Spirituality 18.Religious beliefs and spirituality positively influenced or contributed towards the subjective sense of well-being of the institutionalized aged as perceived by their administrators. The elderly who were religiously or spiritually oriented experienced an enhanced sense of well-being even while beset with physical decline, health deterioration or sickness.
19. Prayer was found a source of strength and peace in the lives of the institutionalized aged. The practice of religion or spirituality was the most powerful coping strategy adopted by the institutionalized elderly as perceived by their administrators.