Quality of Life in the Nursing Homes in Jordan: Perspectives of Residents

Article excerpt

This study was planned and conducted to assess the quality of life (QOL) as perceived by 140 selected elderly people living in 3 public nursing homes in Amman, Jordan. Factors that may influence quality of life among the residents were analyzed, and the relationship between quality of life and certain demographics in the nursing homes was determined.

The data were collected through administration of a questionnaire during face-to-face interviews in the residents' settings. Consent from each resident was sought and obtained.

The findings indicated that the quality of life is determined by age, gender, marital status, level of education, and length of stay in the nursing home. Also, by the quality of the four domains: physical, psychological, social relationships, and environment.

Keywords: quality of life; nursing home; resident; perspective

The demographic changes of today and tomorrow are extraordinary and profound. The proportion of the global population aged 65 years and older in 1900 was 1%. In 2000, it was 7%, and by 2050, it is estimated to be 20% (United Nations, 2007).

Age is a process, of course, that takes place over the entire life span of an organism. It is a broad concept that includes physical, psychological, and socioemotional changes. Old age and the elderly are terms that are commonly used and imply some notion of decline and deterioration in health, vitality, social usefulness, and independence. Those who study aging are struggling to separate what is the inevitable effect of aging from what is avoidable or can be changed. Aging only becomes a crisis if we allow ourselves to be caught unprepared, and if we lack the foresight and the courage to refashion our policies and institutions to deal with its consequences.

Over the past decades, quality of life (QOL) has become a focal point in scientific research. The consensus among researchers is that quality in life measurement should focus on the subjective experience of the individual. This implies that the individual in question is the most valid source of information. Only the individual is the best judge of happiness and contentment with life.

Increasing life span has forced elderly persons and researchers alike to look at life and aging in a new way: at adding life to years rather than years to life. The percentage of senior citizens in Jordan last year stood at 5.2 of the total population. A study released by the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA, 2007) indicated that there are 11 private and public senior homes for the elderly in Jordan, housing approximately 850 residents. About 350 elderly citizens are housed at the expense of the Ministry of Social Development because they are poor and have no living kin. Most of the aging population in Jordan relies on care and donations provided by their family members.

QUESTIONS OF THE STUDY

1. What is the quality of life among the residents of the nursing homes in Jordan?

2. Is there a relationship between quality of life and age?

3. Is there a relationship between quality of life and level of education?

4. Is there a relationship between quality of life and length of stay?

5. Is there a relationship between quality of life and marital status?

6. Is there a relationship between quality of life and gender?

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The determinants of a good quality of life in old age vary from person to person. This study identified the domains recognized as being the determinants of this quality. This study was planned and conducted to determine the quality of life of the elderly living in three nursing homes in Amman, Jordan. This study explored subjectively perceived quality of life and related factors of elderly nursing home residents.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Over the past decades, quality of life of elderly individuals has become a focal point in scientific research. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of such research concerning elderly who reside in nursing homes, and until now, no study about quality of life in this group in Jordan was conducted. …