Evaluating the quality of life of elderly people who attend classes at the University of the Third Age

Anna Grzanka-Tykwińska, Małgorzata Chudzińska, Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/MBS.2014.029

Abstract


I n t r o d u c t i o n . The period of older age – the third age – is commonly perceived as the period of inactivity and withdrawal from social life, and with growing intellectual and physical limitations. As a result, older people are often isolated from active life. Universities of the Third Age are organisations that offer lifelong education to elderly people. The main goal of the Universities is to activate people who are in their third age socially, intellectually and physically, and at the same time to engage these people in the community life.

T h e  a i m of the study was to evaluate the quality of life of elderly people who attend classes at the University of the Third Age at the beginning of their education and after one year of attending the classes. For this purpose the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire was used.

Ma t e r i a l  a n d  m e t h o d s . The study comprised 127 people aged 60-80 who started their classes at the University of the Third Age. After one year of their attendance in the classes 108 students participated in the second stage of the study.

R e s u l t s . The average number of points obtained at the end of the classes at the University of the Third Age in all the four spheres was statistically higher compared to the average number of points obtained at the beginning of the academic year. The largest change was observed in the physical and social relationships spheres. In the physical sphere the average number of points at the beginning of classes was 14.93 ± 2.10, and after one year 15.51 ± 1.91 (p=0.0000). In the sphere of relationships the average number of points at the beginning of the academic year was 13.99 ± 2.29, while at the end of the academic year 14.90 ± 1.95 (p=0.0000).

C o n c l u s i o n s . Supporting elderly people in having an active lifestyle is necessary and it may have a beneficial impact on their perception of the quality of life.


Keywords


quality of life; University of the Third Age; old age

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References


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