Loneliness in the Institutionalized Elderly with Functional Dependence
Both the quantity and the quality of the social relations that we establish affect mental and physical health. With longevity increasing year by year, the cases of loneliness in the elderly have also increased, bringing consequences for the general health and well-being of the elderly. Studies also indicate that institutionalized elderly people are also subject to the occurrence of loneliness. It was our objective to evaluate the presence of loneliness in institutionalized elderly with functional dependence; describe the degree of loneliness in the elderly; describe the degree of dependence in the elderly. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study with institutionalized elderly from a northern region of Portugal; a convenience sample was used (n= 135). A questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic characterization, Barthel Index, and UCLA Solitude Scale. Most of the sample is independent or with mild dependence. As far as loneliness is concerned, the average score is 47.77 points. The presence of loneliness seems to manifest more in the elderly with severe dependence. A relationship with statistical significance was found between gender and loneliness, showing higher values of loneliness in men.
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