A Comparative Appraisal of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged Living with Sons and Living with Daughters
TL;DR: It was found that the aged living with sons had better Quality of Life and the aged were found to have lower QOL for the other support system i.e. “Living with daughters”.
Abstract: The present study was undertaken during 2006 for a comparative appraisal of quality of life of aged (65 years and above) living under two support systems, i.e. living with sons and living with daug...
Summary (3 min read)
- Across the world, countries are experiencing population ageing.
- Many face isolation and lack the resources for a better quality of life.
- After all, the last stage of life holds as much potential for growth and development as earlier stages.
- As the ageing of population is becoming more and more pronounced, the concern for the quality of life and well- being of the older people is also growing in both developing and developed countries.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
- Background Information of the Aged across Two Support Systems Table 1 shows the distribution of aged males across two support systems with reference to age, socio-economic status, education, marital status, living arrangement (with or without spouse) and number of children.
- Majority (68%) of the male respondents in this study were in the age group of 65 -77 years, with only few (8%) being above 89 years of Also, the studies conducted in Delhi and Lucknow showed that majority of the elderly living with their sons was partially or wholly dependent upon them (Delhi School of Social Work 1977; Soodan 1982).
- In view of the foregoing, it was considered logical to direct investigations towards a comparative appraisal of quality of life of the aged living under two support systems i.e.
- “Living with sons” and “Living with daughters”.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
- The present study was undertaken to assess the Quality of Life of the aged (65 years and above) living under two support systems, i.e. Living with sons and Living with daughters.
- The sample drawn from each support system was further subdivided into two socio-economic groups namely Middle SocioEconomic Group (MSEG) and Lower Socio-Economic Group (LSEG).
- Those “Living with daughters”, only 21 per cent were graduates and post-grad- uates and majority of them were under-matric (32%) and matric (28%).
- It was observed that majority (46%) of the married (both spouses alive) females lived with sons followed by 34 per cent living with their daughters.
- The increasing proportion of older female population is also an important aspect of the public policy as the mortality rates are usually higher among men than women.
The Three Domains of Quality of Life (QOL)
- The three domains of Quality of Life (QOL), as shown in Table 3, include the Positive, Borderline and Negative domains of Quality of life.
- Positive domain covered a major share of respondents in the support system “Living with sons”, i.e. 56 per cent whereas only 33 per cent from other support system were seen in this domain.
- “Positive domain” implied good Quality of Life (QOL) at the present time and, thus ought to be sustained and enhanced.
- The second domain i.e., “Borderline domain” refers to the vulnerable category of Quality of Life (QOL), which calls for an action plan to enhance the Quality of Life (QOL).
- “Negative”the third domain points towards the problem areas that need to be addressed.
Proportion of Respondents in the different Domains of Quality of Life (QOL) Across Selected Support Systems
- It is observed from the data presented in Table 3 that the support system comprising ‘Living with the sons’ had high percentage of the aged falling in the positive domain of Quality of Life (QOL) i.e., 56 per cent.
- In other words, they were leading Very Good to Acceptable QOL.
- A very high proportion of the aged in the negative domain were those ‘Living with their daughters’ (33%).
- Community Belonging, Leisure Becoming and Growth Becoming were identified as the vulnerable dimensions in both the support systems which need to be upgraded to improve the QOL scores of the aged.
- These results are inline with the study by Aggarwal (2004) which, states that utilization of senior citizen’s potentials to the utmost is essential for making them lead a respectful and satisfactory life along with economic security, old age planning, participation in work, selfless social service and spiritual outlook towards life with optimistic thinking.
Comparative Picture of the Two Support Systems by Levels of Quality Of Life (QOL)
- From the above observations it could be concluded that the Positive Quality of Life was being strongly experienced by 56 per cent of the aged ‘Living with their sons’ whereas the Negative Quality of Life (QOL) was observed in higher proportion in the aged ‘Living with their daughters’ (33%).
- This reveals the existing mind-set and the inhibitions of the elderly persons to reside with their daughters except under unavoidable circumstances when they were left with no other option.
- The study showed that an overwhelming number of the aged lived with their sons.
- There were very few who decided to live with their daughters.
- In the same study, it was pointed out that majority of old women were dissatisfied with the care and service they got (as compared to their male counterparts).
Comparative Analysis of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged Across Different Support Systems
- The data presented in Table 4 depicts the mean scores for the Quality of Life (QOL) across the two support systems.
- The higher mean scores were obtained for the aged “Living with their sons” (0.663).
- But for the aged “Living with their daughters”, a very low mean score i.e. 0.062 was obtained.
- Thus, it could be inferred from this study that “Living with sons” was the most preferred support system for the aged and “Living with the daughters” was the non-preferred support system.
- This might be attributed to the fact that Indian culture underpins living of the aged parents with their sons but under normal circumstances living with their daughters is not preferred.
- Aged living with their sons had a better QOL as most of them enjoyed from ‘Very good’ to ‘Acceptable’ QOL.
- The number of the aged in the Problematic QOL category was found to be negligible.
- Thus, indicating the vulnerability of this support system to slide into Problematic QOL category.
- As ageing of population is becoming more and more pronounced, the concern for the quality of life and well-being of older people is also growing.
- These years of life are not left over; rather a complete span of life, a stage when like ripened fruit the person is at his best.
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The present study was undertaken during 2006 for a comparative appraisal of quality of life of aged ( 65 years and above ) living under two support systems, i. e. living with sons and living with daughters. The study was based upon the sample of 200 subjects from Ludhiana city, equally drawn from the two support systems. The sample drawn from each support system was further subdivided into two socio-economic groups which were further subdivided over two sexes.