Research on Successful Aging by Sociology, Psychology, and Nursing Professors published

Kelley Strout, Nursing; Fayezma Ahmed, Psychology; and Karyn Sporer, Sociology; all collaborated on an article entitled “What are older adults wellness priorities? Qualitative analysis of priorities within multiple domains of wellness”. Their research aims to “develop an understanding of older adults’ wellness priorities” by taking “a random sample of 128 male and female US residents age 65 and older who live in communities in 22 states” and assessing their attitudes on successful aging. They used Hettler’s Six Dimensions of Wellness which include: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, occupational, and spiritual, and found that physical, social, and emotional were the most important to older adults. They claim that this finding “appeared to promote study participants’ desire to sustain their independence and maintain health”.

The article concluded through their qualitative research that these older adults valued their physical wellness the most frequently, choosing example goals such as “looking for accurate diagnosis for medical problem” or “to be pain free” and so on. Next was social wellness including goals like “maintain independence living in an apartment” or “to enjoy time with my spouse and friends”. Following down the list in order was emotional wellness, then intellectual, followed by spiritual, and lastly occupational.

They conclude that their findings align with previous research models that claim that elders consider themselves “healthy” and to be “aging successfully” if they are independent and free of illness or disability. The results show a heavy emphasis on physical wellness and independence.

To read the entire article, click here.