Peculiarities of social adaptation of the elderly in geriatric institutions of Ukraine and Poland


The growth of interest in gerontological issues in modern sociological studies is quite a natural process, due to actual trends in the world in general and in Ukraine, in particular. One of the important issues in this area is the peculiarities of social adaptation of the elderly in geriatric institutions, which became the subject of this scientific work.

The paper is based on sociological phenomenology, in particular, on the concept of the human world of life, which was the theoretical and methodological basis of the study. This gave rise to the use of a quality methodology, according to which the source base consists of 16 interviews with the elderly in the three geriatric institutions – the Pidbuzsky boarding house, the Lviv boarding house, the Eskomectic House of the elderly (Ekumeniczny Dom Pomocy Społecznej Zgromadzenia Sióstr Służebnic NPM), which is located in Poland. The main ground for the social adaptation of the elderly are the preconditions that led people to these institutions. Authors outline the psychological, personal, socio-economic and physical preconditions for the entry of elderly people into geriatric homes that are related to the life of every respondent. In addition, these preconditions made it possible to determine the voluntary, forced or coercive methods of choosing a geriatric institution as a place of spending their lives in.

The social adaptation of the nursing home inhabitants is determined by external and internal factors. The key external factors that can be considered are: living conditions, leisure, communication with other residents, nutrition. Among the internal factors, one should distinguish religiousness (spirituality) and significant interpersonal relationships (the presence of a close friend in the house). A comparison of Ukrainian and Polish experience suggests that an active form of social adaptation of elderly people is geriatric homes predominates in Poland, whereas in

Ukraine it is rather an exception and almost completely displaced by the passive form of social adaptation.

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