Interpersonal Intimacy and Meaning of Life of Institutionalized Elders

Document Type : Research articles


Gerontological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University


Interpersonal intimacy refers to the intimate, interpersonal relationships that are formed
internally during interactions with other persons or groups. As well, aging is an important issue to
address in an effort to help the elders live as healthy individuals and to enhance their sense of
meaning in life, happiness, and interpersonal intimacy. Objective: Explore the interpersonal intimacy
and meaning of life of institutionalized elders. Setting: The study was conducted in three of the
governmental elderly homes in Dakahlia governorate namely; Dar Elamal, Dar Elmalak Mikhael in
Mansoura city and Dar Elwalaa in Meet Ghamr city. Subjects: The study included 51 elderly selected
from the previously mentioned settings. Tools: Four tools were used; Mini–Mental State Examination,
Elders’ Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Profile Structured Interview Schedule,
Interpersonal Intimacy Questionnaire and Meaning of Life Questionnaire. Results: The present study
findings showed that males had a higher interpersonal intimacy and meaning of life than females
(P=0.01 and P=0.00). A positive significant correlation between interpersonal intimacy and meaning
of life among the institutionalized elders (P=0.03) was observed. Conclusion: Increase in
interpersonal intimacy and meaning of life among elders are associated with the shorter duration of
stay in the home, maintaining social relations outside the home, and positive perception of health.
Recommendations: Caregivers in elderly homes should focus on increasing interpersonal intimacy
and purpose in life among their residents by increasing socialization and interaction among elders,
encourage participation in recreational activities, plan periodical meeting with elder’s family
members and friends.