Healthy life for mentally retarded
: a qualitative study from a staff perspective

  • Johanna Sjöbeck
  • Caroline Nilsson

    Student thesis: Bachelor


    Background: Health is an important concept that there are many different definitions of. There are definitions of Health believes that health is about feeling good and having a good ability to act. The concept highlights the importance of that every individual should have the opportunity to do what she values as important. People which are mentally retarded have limits they can no do what they want and live their lives in the same way as normal gifted can. These limitations are physical, mental and social. People which are mentally retarded are aging faster than normal gifted people. It is relevant to work to promote residents' health and work for a healthy aging to happen. Literature Review: Literature in the fields of mentally retarded, health and aging show that there is a need to work to promote healthy aging of the mentally retarded and therefore we find it interesting to work with this subject. Aim: To find out how a healthy life can be promoted with disabilities according to staff attitudes towards the mentally handicapped. Method: The study is qualitative and individual interviews were carried out at eight people who work on housing for the mentally retarded. The interviews were recorded on tape and then transcribed. The material was treated confidential. Results: Staff in the housing for mentally retarded emphasize the importance of eating healthy and being physically active. They mean that a good social life increases the chance of a healthy aging and that cultural activities have good effect on health. They also see that they themselves have an important part in promoting healthy aging of the mentally retarded. Discussion: Mentally retarded living in housing for the mentally retarded is dependent on the staff working there. Therefore the staff has an extremely important role in encouraging the residents' healths and works towards healthy aging. This they can do in a variety of ways both in terms of physical, mental and social health.

    Date of Award2009-Nov-02
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBengt Selghed (Supervisor)

    University credits

    • 15 HE credits

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)


    • mentally retarded
    • health
    • ageing
    • activities
    • socioculture
    • staff

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