DOI: 10.2478/pielxxiw-2022-0019 ISSN: 2450-646X

Social cohesion and an age-friendly environment determine the life satisfaction of elderly people in rural areas: an integrative review of the literature

Mihael Nedeljko, Barbara Toplak Perović, Boris Miha Kaučič
  • General Nursing
  • General Nursing


Introduction. As the global population is ageing and life expectancy is gradually increasing, we wanted to use a literature review to study what determines the life satisfaction of older people in rural areas. In doing so, we focused on age-friendly communities that enable older people to live as actively and independently as possible and allow quality ageing.

Methods. The integrative literature review method in accordance with PRISMA guidelines was used. The selection of articles in English was made according to the following inclusion criteria: scientificity, content relevance and topicality. The literature search covered the bibliographic-catalogue databases Web of Science and PubMed, from 2010 to 2020. After selection, a qualitative content analysis was applied to the data.

Results. From the initial twenty-one articles, we gained an insight into the life satisfaction of the elderly in rural areas through a substantive analysis of nine scientific articles. Two content categories were identified: social cohesion of the elderly and age-friendly environment.

Discussion and conclusion. Social cohesion and an age-friendly environment are important for ensuring the life satisfaction of elderly people in rural areas. Based on a review of the literature, we found out that literature focusing on ageing in urban areas predominates. In the future, it will be necessary to study the factors that affect the life satisfaction in geographical locations that are similar in size and cultural and social characteristics.

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