Defense Date

9-26-2008

Graduation Date

2008

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Nursing

School

School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Joan Masters

Committee Member

Mary Ann Thurkettle

Committee Member

Patricia Hentz

Keywords

older men, gerontology, living alone, phenomenology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to uncover older men's experience of living alone. This study was pursued because much of the literature reports that older men who live alone face the highest risk of death, mental illness, physical disability, and social isolation in our country. Based upon this literature, nurses appeared to be ignoring the needs of this vulnerable population. Using Giorgi's phenomenological method, 14 men 60 years and older who lived alone were interviewed and asked about their experience living alone. In the data analysis, the themes of self-growth, self-determination, structure, balance and sense of purpose emerged. Essentially, the experience of living alone for older men means the opportunity for self-growth and the freedom of self-determination, while maintaining structure, balance, and sense of purpose. This study demonstrated that living alone is not necessarily a contributing factor to the health difficulties this population faces; other factors, in addition to living alone, must contribute to their vulnerabilities. Using this information, nurses are better able to determine how to provide care for older men who live alone. Furthermore, future nursing research is needed to further identify those factors which do contribute to the vulnerabilities of older men who live alone.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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