Quality of Life for the Elderly Living in Developing and Developed Countries

By: Alba Elizabeth Melgar   Gloria Velasquez  

In order to determine the quality of life for the elderly in some countries, it is indispensable to establish the conceptual approach to quality of life we will be using as well as the parameters we will be applying to measure it in the three countries considered for our study. The purpose of this paper is to present a contrast on the quality of life enjoyed by older individuals in developed countries such as The United States and in developing countries as El Salvador and Mexico. Given that quality of life is intimately related to economical factors is difficult to use a concept of quality of life that do not requires money as its determinant factor, because this indicator cannot be applied equally to rich and poor countries alike. In our study we define quality of life as the general well-being of a person or society, defined in terms of health and happiness, rather than wealth. Although assessment tools are available to evaluate physical and social dimensions, the sense of well being is more difficult to evaluate but we will conduct interviews to older individuals in El Salvador to illustrate our study. Among the observations we address assessing “quality of life" in old people are: 1.multidimensional factors that involve everything from physical health, psychological state, level of independence, family, education, wealth, religious beliefs, a sense of optimism, local services, employment, housing and the environment. 2. cultural perspectives, values, personal expectations and goals.

Social impacts Religious support Cultural perspectives Family relations
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Alba Elizabeth Melgar

Texas State University

Attended a Catholic School from Kindergarten to High School in her native Country, El Salvador. In 1968 completed her Teaching Degree from the Escuela Normal Superior de El Salvador majoring in Spanish, Literature and French. Fling from the Civil War she came to the United States in 1981 and completed her Bachelor degree in Spanish and Italian at the University of Texas at Austin then she obtained her Master degree in Spanish and Women Studies from Texas State University. Mrs. Melgar taught for 15 years: Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish and Literature at High School in several Countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador. Since 2004 Professor Melgar has been serving as a Senior Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at Texas State University.Professor Melgar professional duties include: Teaching and developing teaching materials for class. Attending meetings and workshops. Promoting the Department of Modern Language Mission and attending students during office hours. In addition Professor Melgar dedicates a great deal of time to GADiA, (Gloria and Alba, diversity in Action) an organization that she co-founded with her Colleague Gloria Velázquez to promote diverse and inclusive events for the University and the San Marcos community.

Gloria Velasquez

Adjunct Associate Professor, Foreign Language Department, Austin Community College, United States
Texas, United States