Program of active aging in a rural Mexican community: a qualitative approach

de la Luz Martínez-Maldonado, María; Correa-Muñoz, Elsa; Manuel Mendoza-Núñez, Víctor
January 2007
BMC Public Health;2007, Vol. 7, p276
Academic Journal
Background: Education is one of the key elements in the promotion of a thorough paradigm for active aging. The aim of this study is to analyze factors that contribute the empowerment of older adults in a rural Mexican community and, thus, promote active aging. Methods: The study was conducted in a rural Mexican community (Valle del Mezquital), based on an action-research paradigm. One hundred and fifty-five elderly subjects with elementary school education participated in a formal training program promoting gerontological development and health education. Participants in turn became coordinators of mutual-help groups (gerontological nucleus) in Mexico. In-depth interviews were carried out to assess the empowerment after training for active aging. Results: It was found that there was an increasing feeling of empowerment, creativity and self-fulfillment among participants. Among the main factors that positively influenced training of the elderly toward active aging were the teaching of gerontology topics themselves; besides, their motivation, the self-esteem, the increased undertaking of responsibility, the feeling of belonging to the group, and the sharing of information based on personal experience and on gerontological knowledge. Conclusion: The main factors that contribute to empowerment of older adults in a rural Mexican community for participate in active aging programs are the training and teaching of gerontology topics themselves; besides, their interest, experience and involvement.


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