Physical Health

Health is one of the most important variables in predicting whether people are happy (Campbell et al. , 1976). The World Health Organization defines health as, the optimal functioning of the human organism to meet biological, psychological, ethical and spiritual needs (Emeth & Greenhut, 1991). In this study the elderly were said to have ‘optimal functioning’ when he or she had basic competence, which was necessary for maintenance of independent living (Martin, 2001). In the case of the elderly in the study it was denoted by their ability for personal care on their own. It

also pertained to mental health, which was a state where the elderly were not prone to depression, or other mental illness, and did not have any major cognitive impairments. Autonomy: Autonomy could be equated to having the capacity for selfdetermination, independence, internal locus of control, and internal regulation of behavior (Ryff, 1989). Having a sense of being in control (autonomy) means that one’s thoughts and actions are one’s own and not determined by others. It is related to physical health too as it gives a sense of mastery over situations. It is important for all and

particularly for the elderly to maintain that sense of control or autonomy because a sense of losing control of one’s life or one’s power is to in some ways lose one’s worth, which can have detrimental effect on one’s physical as well as psychological health. Money/Income: Income or money is importantly related to a sense of well-being in old age (Diener, 1984) and the elderly in the study may or may not enjoy financial security Money is important probably because of the sense of security that they experience when they have enough money which could implicitly affect their sense of autonomy and self-worth.

Family Relationships: Family is a natural institution constant across time and space which is a very close and intimate group and one’s sense of well-being is sustained by membership in this primary group, as it provides a sense of security, connectedness, and belongingness to the aged. There are no substitutes for the close relationship in the experience of well-being in the case of the aged. In the case of the elderly in the study, family relationship is limited to this intimate group consisting of the spouse, children and grandchildren as the extended family is almost nonexistent in the given context.

Friendship: Friendship or close relationship with members of the same age group often sharing personal characteristics, life styles, values and experiences is a source of enjoyment, socializing, and reminiscing the past; promote a higher satisfaction among the older adults (Sorensen & Pinquart, 2000). In the given situation it could be long standing friends from the past, and or the friendship developed among the co-residents of the home.

Social Support and Social Interest: To experience a sense of well-being persons should have deep feeling of sympathy, and affection for human beings (social interest/altruism). That is, their ability to go beyond the personal to interpersonal establishing deep, profound interpersonal relationships and social support, to transpersonal, which is relating to the Divine in the social context of one’s life. These play a significant role in maintaining their psychological, social, and physical integrity over time (Witmer & Sweeny, 1992) and consequently the sense well-being.

Attitude toward Death: Death can be understood as a natural process of transition from one stage of life to another. Depending on the meaning people attach to death, they fear death or embrace it as a natural transition with a sense of acceptance and surrender (Atchley, 1997). Accepting old age and death meaningfully makes life happier. Fear or acceptance of death is closely related to general satisfaction. According to (Moberg, 2001), when life is lived to the full, death becomes a fulfillment, a completion.

A sense of being control was part of the active participatory process for the participants of this study. According to Bandura, et. al. (1995), feeling out of control increased stress responses, including physiological changes, that potentially could affect healing. Feeling …

It can be seen by the graph below that when we are born we are totally reliant on someone else to satisfy our needs. As an adult we have less needs on others and are more able to be independent …

The concept of repressive defensiveness (RD) has an extensive history in clinical and personality research (Bonanno, Davis, Singer & Schwartz, 1991). RD is the tendency to avoid negative emotions (Denollet, Martens, Nykl? c? ek, Conraads & de Gelder, 2008). Repressors …

Entire disciplines of medicine and urology have dedicated resources and research towards the discovery of connections between the emotional states of human beings to their health. In fact, looking at the available academic references, there is a rich literature available …

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