Identification of older adults’ perceptions of their health, feelings toward their future and factors affecting these feelings



Controversy exists as to whether older adults living in the community perceive their health status positively or negatively. It is also not known how the elderly perceive their future. In 1982, the Halifax Social Planning Department conducted a survey to assess the health needs of 889 adults ranging in age between 50 and over 85 years and living in eight separate urban public housing accommodations. This descriptive study uses the responses to selected questions from this data bank to describe the subject's perceived health status, feelings about their future and factors affecting these feelings. Perceived health status was found to be the principal contributor to variance in scores of feelings about the future. The majority of respondents perceived their health to be good or excellent and 58% reported positive feelings about their future.