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Health promotion as self-nurturance, the personal experience of senior women living on limited incomes

by Morris, Heather M.

Abstract (Summary)
HeaIth promotion is increasingly being recognized as making an important contribution to the well-being of Canada's seniors as the percentage of elderly people continues to rise. Within this population, senior women are faced with health and social circumstances that may mer significantiyliom those of men. One such distinction is the fiict that 43.4% of unattached women 65 and older live in poverty in Canada wmpared to 21.3% of unattached senior men (National Council of Welfare, 1997). A negative relationship between heaith statu and income has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Research has also shown that those Living on a low income are less likely to engage in heaith promotion. Despite these findings, few authors have investigated the health promotion expenence as descnbed by low income individuals, particularly senior women. A qualitative, exploratory descriptive study using ethnographie methods was conducted to gain insight into the foilowing questions: 1) What is the health promotion experience of senior women living on limited incomes and 2) How might iiving on a limited income affect the expenence of health promotion for this group of women? InteMews with a total of eleven senior women h g on limited incomes were anaiyzed for the purposes of this thesis. An account of the study and its findings which address the two research questions mentioned above are presented in the foliowing paper. A major finding of this study was that the women urilized a wide variety of 'ways of Living' which are presented in the model, HeaM Promotion as Self Nur~urance. Two additionai points of interest were that health promotion was perceived to be infiuenced by Living on a low income by most participants; however, kee of the participants believed that their heaith status and incorne level were wirelated. Additional data were gathered on how these women perceived and defined hedth, factors they saw as ianuencing health promotion as well as utilization ofhealth promotion services. Such information will Likely be incorporated into future publications. The redts of this study have convibuted to laying the groundwork for additional research in the area of heaith promotion and senior women living on iirnited incornes. The current knowledge base related to this topic has been expanded, thereby promisimg to inform the practices of health professionals, program planners and policy makers who work with low income senior women.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1997

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