International Journal of Gerontology
Effect of Negative Life Events and Resilience on Health Status of Older Adults with Possible Sarcopenia: A Qualitative Research
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Background: As adults age, they eventually experience a decline in physical functioning and various life events. Inadequate physical activity and malnutrition have been recognized as major causes of possible sarcopenia. Many studies have addressed the risks of disability and fall associated with possible sarcopenia. However, information on the subjective life experiences of older adults with possible sarcopenia is insufficient. This study therefore aimed to gain an insight into the feelings and life experiences of older adults with possible sarcopenia in Taiwan.
Methods: We conducted a qualitative study involving 12 Taiwanese older adults with possible sarcopenia. Comprehensive, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants using a phenomenological approach.
Results: Three main themes emerged from the participants' description of aging: (1) the impact of aging, (2) developing health care strategies, and (3) mental reorganization.
Conclusions: The findings showed that some factors associated with better resilience. Increased personal resilience, social support, and environmental adjustment stimulate the elderly to recover from negative life events more quickly, and reduce the occurrence of injuries. Resilience is a learning process, it can continue impact late life and help them handle daily life stressor. Our study shed light on various physical and mental issues that older adults with possible sarcopenia might not express to health professionals due to limited outpatient time. Our results provided information that can help health professionals develop interventions for this population. The quality of care offered to older adults can be enhanced if their perspectives are taken into consideration.