Living in dependence: unveiling the experience of the dependent elderly person


Article published by Evelyn Iriarte (MICARE research assistant), María Soledad Rivera and Alejandra Araya (MICARE associate researcher).

Objective: To reveal the meaning of the experience lived by Chilean elderly people over 80 years regarding their dependency.

Methods: Descriptive phenomenological qualitative research. Eight in-depth interviews were conducted in elderly people over 80 years with moderate to severe dependence, users of two Chilean Family Health Centers.

Conclusions: The aged dependent people emphasize the importance of the family and carers, constituting a carer environment network, social support and accompaniment, favouring an affective climate of gratitude and reciprocity. These findings provide key elements in the care process of these patients, as well as in the establishment of intersectoral public policies focused on the experiences, knowledge and values of elderly dependent people.