Life events and the experience of quality of life among residents of senior housing in Finland

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Ann-Louise Sirén
Marjaana Seppänen
Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff


A more holistic view is needed regarding the impact of life events on the quality of life of older adults. We explored how senior housing residents perceive the influence of life events on their current quality of life, from a life course perspective. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 residents aged 68 to 97 years from three senior houses. The thematic analysis suggested that events related to social relationships and human agency may influence quality of life in old age. Experiences that contribute to personal development, feeling safe, social connectedness, and a strong sense of human agency were perceived to add quality to life. Events that cause anxiety, reduces one’s sense of autonomy, and involve loss of social closeness were perceived to detract from quality of life. Life events can also sometimes evoke conflicting feelings. The study implies that the influence of life events depends on whether human needs are met.


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