THE STATUS OF WELL BEING OF THE RETIREES LIVING IN THE CITY: THE CASE OF ISTANBUL

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT

Introduction

In this study, the contribution of the local administrations to the well-being of the living centers, which they open specially for retired and/ or elderly people, is examined in order to increase the activity of the elderly.  In literature, few studies have been found examining the well-being of the elderly in our country (Arun, 2008; Aysan, 2017).  In this study, psychological well-being of individuals aged 55 years and over living in the districts of Beşiktaş, Kadıköy, Maltepe, Üsküdar and Tuzla and using social life centers of local governments are analyzed. In this context, the relationship between the psychological well-being of the participants and gender, marital status, age, host or tenant and regular sport were investigated. In accordance with the general purpose of the research, the following sub-problems were sought:

  1. Do adult psychological well-being scores of adults aged 55 and older differ significantly according to gender?
  2. Is there a significant difference between marital status and psychological well-being scores of adults aged 55 and over?
  3. Are adults aged 55 and over being host or older ease holders causing significant differences in psychological well-being scores?
  4. Does doing regular sports for adults aged 55 and above cause a significant difference in their psychological well-being scores?
  5. Is there a significant difference between the psychological well-being scores of the age groups of 55 years and older participants?

Method and Research Design

Descriptive screening method was used in this study in which the psychological well-being of the elderly was examined in terms of various variables. The population of this cross-sectional study consists of individuals over 55 years of age, who use the social life centers of Besiktas, Kadikoy, Maltepe, Uskudar and Tuzla district local administrations as private pensioners or private residents between January and February 2018. Data were collected from individuals who accepted to participate in the study on the days of the center. Before the data collected with the principle of volunteering, general information was given about the study and the identity information was not requested from the participants. The survey application ranged from 25 to 30 minutes. 91 women (48%); 86 male (52%) were studied with 176 participants. The age limit of being a member in some of the social life centers of which local governments were working was 55 years old and this was effective in determining this age as the lower limit.

The demographic characteristics of the participants were determined with the personal information form. In addition, in order to measure the psychological well-being of individuals, 18-item Psychological Well-Being Scale developed by Ryff and Keyes (1995) and having correlations between (,70) and (,89) was used. In this scale, which was given to Turkish by İmamoğlu, Cronbach Alpha coefficient was determined as (,79). (İmamoğlu, 2004; Aktaran: Beydoğan, 2008, s. 171). In this study, the total scale was used and the sub-dimensions were not used. The Cronbach Alpha internal consistency coefficient of the scale was determined as (,64). Depending on the alpha coefficient, (,60) and less than (,80) the scale is evaluated in the reliable scale category (Kalaycı, 2008).

After the data were collected, the missing data were removed and the remaining data were analyzed by using SPSS 21 program. At this stage, independent groups t-test was conducted in order to reveal the differentiation of psychological well-being, marital status, home ownership and regular physical fitness. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine the differentiation of psychological well-being scores according to age groups. At least 0.05 significance level was adopted in the analysis of the data.

Results

In this study, psychological well-being levels of individuals aged 55 and over who use social life centers of local administrations in Istanbul were examined according to some variables and the findings obtained in the literatüre were compared with other findings. A number of results have been reached regarding whether the psychological well-being scores of the participants differ according to gender, marital status, home ownership and regular sports and age groups. The findings were discussed in the light of secondary data; recommendations for future applications and studies have been developed.

When the results of the study were evaluated, it was determined that the participants had a moderate level of well-being. In this study, no statistically significant difference was found between the psychological well-being and gender of the participants. Similarly, there are studies indicating that life satisfaction or happiness does not differ according to gender variable in the literature. (Çetinkaya, 2004, p. 72; Canbay, 2010, p. 62; Kermen, 2013, p. 48; Vural, 2016, p. 61; Aydemir, 2008, p. 54).  In the study, it can be said that the psychological well-being of adults between the ages of 55 and above was effective in the not differentiation between the sexes.

A statistically significant difference was found between the psychological well-being and marital status of the participants in favor of married participants. In other words, it was determined that married participants had higher psychological well-being than single participants. Similar to the literature, there are findings that marital status affects psychological well-being in favor of married people. (Yazıcı, Caz and Tuçkol, 2016, p. 4; Aydemir, 2008, p. 57; Aysan, 2017, p. 188). Marriage positively affects psychological well-being (Çetinkaya, 2004, p. iii; Çihangir-Çetinkaya, 2005). The existence of a spouse who shared their distress and happiness in the married is positively reflected in their psychology.

In the study, it was determined that while evaluating if the participants did exercise regularly or not, there was a significant difference in their psychological well-being in favor of the participants. According to Polat (2014), the positive impact of regular sports on happiness comes from the nature of sports. Sports is a free time activity that relaxes the body by regulating the nervous and blood system of the body. However, regular sports habits in old age are affected both by the personality traits of individuals and by the infrastructure competence of institutions. First of all, the ability to do regular sports in the elderly depends on the fact that it has gained a regular sports habit in the youth period. It depends on the number and quality of the open and closed sports areas, where local authorities can easily access older people and take account of their physical decline. It is therefore advisable for local authorities to open more sport areas for the elderly.

Although there was no significant difference between the psychological well-being and income status of the participants, there was a significant difference between the host participants and the tenants’ psychological well-being in favor of the hosts. Elderly people with loss of income with age progress are unhappier under additional economic burdens such as rent, too. In this framework, it is necessary to emphasize that the projects for retired and elderly people, which are capable of being able to provide adequate housing, will reflect positively on their individual well-being. In the cities, it is advisable to make more housing for the retired and / or elderly people who are renting under the leadership of local administrations.

A statistically significant difference was found between the ages of the participants and their psychological well-being. It was determined that the age group in the 55-64 age group had higher psychological well-being than the participants in the age group 75 years and older. Psychological well-being was found to be lower than other age groups over the age of 75 years in many areas. In this sense, local governments need to take more responsibility to contribute to social and psychological well-being in the old age. It is advisable to employ more professionals about old age such as gerontologists, sociologists, psychologists and social workers to expand the social life center-like spaces where we work.

Keywords: Aging of Sociology, Psychological Well-Being, Retirees, Social Service, Social Policy.