Life satisfaction among older people (65+) with reduced self-care capacity: the relationship to social, health and financial aspects

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Aims and objectives

This study aimed at investigating life satisfaction and its relation to living conditions, overall health, self-care capacity, feeling lonely, physical activities and financial resources among people (65+) with reduced self-care capacity.


Knowledge about factors related to low life satisfaction among older people with reduced self-care capacity is sparse, although this is important in health care and nursing so that the care is adapted to their needs and perspective. Previous research has mainly focused on isolated aspects such as pain in relation to life satisfaction among older people in general and less among so those with reduced self-care capacity in general.

Design and method

A subsample of 522 persons was selected from a randomly selected cross-sectional survey using a modified form of the Older Americans' Resources Schedule and Life Satisfaction Index Z.


The mean age in the total sample was 77·9; women (79·5) were significantly older than men (77·0). Low life satisfaction was found among women, as well as those living in special accommodations. Life Satisfaction Index Z was 15·3 (SD 5·6) in the total sample. Gender and living conditions did not explain life satisfaction whilst poor overall self-reported health and poor financial resources in relation to needs had the strongest explanatory value. Also of significant importance were loneliness, the degree of reduced self-care capacity and feeling worried.


Life satisfaction in older people with reduced self-care capacity is determined by several factors, with social, physical, mental and financial aspects probably interacting with each other; especially feeling lonely, degree of self-care capacity, poor overall health, feeling worried and poor financial resources in relation to needs. These factors need to be considered in the care of these people to preserve or improve their life satisfaction.

Relevance to clinical practice

Nursing interventions in terms of preventive home visits, rehabilitation, health education directed towards physical, psychological, social and economic aspects of importance may help to preserve or improve life satisfaction for those with reduced self-care capacity.

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