The importance of successful place integration for perceived health in very old age: a qualitative meta-synthesis

Int J Public Health. 2011 Dec;56(6):589-95. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0282-4. Epub 2011 Aug 5.


Objective: The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the multifaceted phenomenon of home and health, by exploring processes underlying these dynamics when living at home in very old age.

Method: A qualitative meta-synthesis was used on four complementary qualitative studies, based on data from the Swedish ENABLE-AGE In-depth Study, focusing on very old, single-living people's experiences of home in relation to participation, independence and health (N = 40).

Results: Over time, very old people manage increased frailty by means of three intertwined processes concerning changes in everyday life: The turning points, The struggle and The negotiations. The findings show that these processes take place through the context of the Homelike functional home and a state of mind labelled, The awareness of frailty.

Conclusion: The results can be useful in constructing and implementing guidelines for more holistic approaches to housing provision for senior citizens. Further, the study delivers a deeper understanding about how very old people live their lives, useful for practitioners as well as it contributes to theory development within the context of ageing and environments.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / psychology
  • Health Promotion*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research