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Elderly people's definitions of quality of life


  • Farquhar, Morag


The subject of this paper is the definition and measurement of the concept of quality of life, and questions the operationalization of quality of life simply in terms of health status measures and scales of functional ability. It is based on a review of the literature, and the initial analyses of the first stage of a study designed to identify individual's views of the quality of their lives and to test the relevance of various scales used to measure quality of life. The study focuses on older people living at home in two contrasting areas of south east England, and demonstrates not only that older people can talk about, and do think about, quality of life, but also highlights how quality of life varies for different age groups of the elderly population living at home, in different geographical areas. In addition, early conclusions also indicate that there is more to quality of life than health: indeed, social contacts appear to be as valued components of a good quality of life as health status. This study deals with issues high on the agenda of the current debate on quality of life and its measurement; it has implications for those involved in both quality of life research and in health and social service policy for older people.

Suggested Citation

  • Farquhar, Morag, 1995. "Elderly people's definitions of quality of life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1439-1446, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:41:y:1995:i:10:p:1439-1446

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
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    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marta Santacreu & Antonio Bustillos & Rocio Fernandez-Ballesteros, 2016. "Multidimensional/Multisystems/Multinature Indicators of Quality of Life: Cross-Cultural Evidence from Mexico and Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 467-482, March.
    2. Yan, Bingqiu & Gao, Xiaolu & Lyon, Michael, 2014. "Modeling satisfaction amongst the elderly in different Chinese urban neighborhoods," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 127-134.
    3. Gassmann, Franziska & Siegel, Melissa & Vanore, Michaella & Waidler, Jennifer, 2012. "The impact of migration on elderly left behind in Moldova," MERIT Working Papers 082, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Ory, David T. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "When is getting there half the fun? Modeling the liking for travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 97-123.
    5. Eric Bonsang & Arthur Soest, 2012. "Satisfaction with Social Contacts of Older Europeans," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 273-292, January.
    6. Maya Benish-Weisman & Samuel Shye, 2011. "Life Quality of Russian Immigrants to Israel: Patterns of Success and of Unsuccess," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 101(3), pages 461-479, May.
    7. Lee, Richard J. & Sener, Ipek N., 2016. "Transportation planning and quality of life: Where do they intersect?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 146-155.
    8. Blane, David & Netuveli, Gopalakrishnan & Montgomery, Scott M., 2008. "Quality of life, health and physiological status and change at older ages," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 1579-1587, April.
    9. Felix N. Fernando & Dennis R. Cooley, 2016. "An Oil Boom’s Effect on Quality of Life (QoL): Lessons from Western North Dakota," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 1083-1115, December.
    10. Susilo, Yusak O. & Cats, Oded, 2014. "Exploring key determinants of travel satisfaction for multi-modal trips by different traveler groups," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 366-380.
    11. Jik Lee, 2005. "An Exploratory Study on the Quality of Life of older Chinese People Living alone in Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 335-361, March.

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