Cecilia Cordova Final Manuscript

Topics: Old age, Qualitative research, Middle age Pages: 13 (4364 words) Published: February 27, 2015


The Effects on Quality of Life of Elderly Women with and Without a Male Partner Cecilia Cordova
Mount St. Mary’s College

Abstract
The purpose of this research is to provide insight into the quality of lives of elderly women with and without a male partner. The effects between women married with a male partner, widowed, and never married result in varying degrees of quality of life in older woman. The study focused on quality of life as it pertains to physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. The women that contributed their experiences for this research represent three different marital statuses: married, widowed and single/never married. This is a qualitative study that uses semi-standardized interviews from individual intrinsic case studies. The information the participants contributed for the case study is anonymous. Their contributions provide information regarding the effects and results of sharing a life with a male partner or without after the age of 60. The sampling for this study was convenience sampling. The results of the three intrinsic case studies revealed the differences that emerge in quality of elderly women living with and without a male partner. The study also considers measures for elderly women to decrease the discrepancies between the gap of results of living with a male partner and without.

Purpose
The purpose of this research was to investigate the differences between the effects in marital status on elderly women over the age of 60. The first marital status considered was married with a male partner. The second marital status discussed was widowed and the results of life after the loss of male partner. The third marital status is single never married and the results from a life never dependent on a male partner. The women that will participate in this study will be between the ages 60 and 80 years of age. The researcher will also explore the impact on quality of life, health, and financial status. Quality of life will be assessed by the level of physical ability, emotional tools, social network, education and employment history. This research is of importance to obtain a greater insight of the lives of elderly women. Insight into the lives of elderly women may serve as future creation of social policies and programs that serve their specific needs. Overview and Justification

According to Zinn, Eitzen, Wells (2011) “The population of the United States is experiencing a pronounced change in its age structure-it has become older and is on the verge of becoming much older.” (p. 122). The elderly population in the United States population in 2010, increased to 40.0 million individuals. The prevalent consensus amongst the research I encountered is there exist a lacking of investigative studies of elderly needs (Need Monique feedback). Aging women contribute 55% of the population age 65 and over (Bogunovic, O. (2011). President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, concorded with Otto von Bismark to define 65 years of age “old” (Hillier & Barrow, 2011, p. 37). Otto von Bismark established this social categorization in 1890 (Hillier & Barrow, 2011, p. 37). Individuals in that era life expectancy was 51 years for women and 48 years for men (Hillier & Barrow, 2011, p. 37). Today, life expectancy for women is 81.20 years and 76.40 for men (“Life expectancy,” n.d., para 1). In Lowe’s perspective (2012), “Therefore, ways of optimizing the quality of life of our elderly population must be explored to ensure that old age is lived with meaning, not just with longer years.” (Lowe & Mcbride-Henry, 2012).

Wilson and Cleary in 1995, assessed that quality of life could be defined by the relation of distinct components. The first component is physiological variables (Wilson & Cleary 1995). According to the researchers physiological examples are weakness, fatigue, confusion, fevers, gastrointestinal discomfort, shortness of...

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