A description of resilience for Norwegian home-living chronically ill oldest older persons


Background: Despite worsening health the chronically ill oldest older persons have expressed feelings of inner strength, which can be understood as resilience. The objective was to describe and compare the characteristics of resilience in two different age groups of chronically ill oldest older persons living at home and who needed help from home nursing care. Design: Cross-sectional design was used to describe and compare the resilience qualities between the two age groups. Methods: The inclusion criteria were 80 years or older, living at home with chronic disease, receiving help from home nursing care, and with the capacity to be interviewed. A sample of 120 oldest older women (n = 79) and men (n = 41) separated in two age groups, aged 80- 89 and 90+ years, participated in the study. Resilience characteristics were measured by Resilience Scale. Results: The whole group of oldest older people was vulnerable in relation to the characteristics of perseverance, self-reliance, and existential aloneness. Despite reduced physical health they reported a meaningful life, and equanimity. Even if there were no significant differences between the age groups among the oldest older persons in the characteristics of Resilience Scale (RS), in the characteristic of meaning there was a tendency of interaction between age and how much help from home nursing care the participants received. Conclusions: It is important to focus on the individual aging and the risk of developing illness and disabilities rather than focusing on chronologic age. Possessing meaning in life and equanimity may be strengths to meet challenges through illness and growing older.

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Moe, A. , Ekker, K. and Enmarker, I. (2013) A description of resilience for Norwegian home-living chronically ill oldest older persons. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 241-248. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.32033.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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