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Revista Subjetividades

Print version ISSN 2359-0769On-line version ISSN 2359-0777


SOUSA, Jenny Gil. Sociocultural participation, idleness, accessibility and active ageing in the context of institutionalized elderly. Rev. Subj. [online]. 2019, vol.19, n.2, pp. 1-14. ISSN 2359-0769.

In the last decades, the vision of old age and aging has been transformed, giving rise to concerns with the creation of favorable environments for the elderly population, namely those permanently institutionalized. Today we live under the paradigm of active aging, a process that values the combination of the individual and his environment, as well as the relationship between them. This relationship is embodied in positive aging trajectories and is marked by social and cultural participation as a vital experience of idleness and human development, in which accessibility (s) stands out as an essential factor. Based on these assumptions, we sought to understand how the participation and enjoyment of socio-cultural and artistic activities, in spaces outside the residential institutions of the elderly, may constitute privileged contexts of active aging and the construction of leisure and development experiences for the elderly resident individuals. This article is structured in two fundamental parts: in the first part, the theoretical framework is presented, discussing the active aging process in the specific scope of socio-cultural participation; it will also hold a discussion around the concept of idleness, analyzing it from the humanist perspective and as a central element in a healthy and active old age; Finally, the importance of accessibility(s) will be discussed as a determining element of the sociocultural participation of institutionalized elderly people. In the second part, we will discuss the results obtained in qualitative research conducted with 25 elderly people, permanently institutionalized in five residential structures in the Leiria region, in Portugal. Thus, through the use of semi-structured interviews, we realize that both active participation in sociocultural and artistic activities and the enjoyment of this kind of activity are perceived by institutionalized elderly as an essential element in the active aging process, in the experience of idleness and the feeling of well-being. However, this socio-cultural and artistic participation is only felt to be truly beneficial if it takes into account accessibility issues, which is referred to as essential in the process of identity (re)construction.

Keywords : active aging; institutionalization; sociocultural participation; idleness; cultural accessibility.

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