Social and Physical Activity and Life Satisfaction among Turkish Elderly Women
Funda Yirmibesoglu, Lale Berkoz

World Health Organization points out that the world population is getting older along with the planet Earth. At the beginning of this century, the population of the elderly aged 80 and above was 14 million. By 2050, it is expected to reach 400 million. As a consequence, the number of studies focusing on the elderly, especially on elderly women, is steadily increasing around the world. Studies show that the elderly populations face various problems depending on how developed countries are.In Turkey, the population of elderly women aged 65 and above has risen 10 times since 1990. According to the 2011 data, more than half (53.92%) of women aged 65 and above have lost their husbands. This study aims to look at the problems of these women who have to spend the rest of their lives alone or with another member of the family, as well as to reveal their life satisfaction.For this purpose, surveys are carried out in districts where the elderly population rates are highest in Istanbul and socioeconomic development is most advanced. As old residential districts located in three major regions of the city, these districts will represent accurate samples for Istanbul. In this study, the demographic, socio-economic, physical and health conditions of the elderly women are examined in order to evaluate their willingness to participate in social and physical activities.The findings of this study are compared to the statistical data of other studies previously carried out in Turkey on the same subject, in order to examine the correlation between the degree of participation in social and physical activities among elderly women and their life satisfaction. A total of 410 people, 198 of whom consist of women, have responded to the survey. Findings suggest that there is a strong correlation between gender and age, employment, the number of people living in the house, time spent outside, the frequency of socializing with friends and satisfaction with living conditions. The most remarkable findings of the survey were that they were satisfied with their homes and its environmental conditions, that most suffered from health problems and that they were social and active.

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