Introduction: This article addresses the problems of one of the most vulnerable groups in society - older people. We examine the health risks facing older people in everyday life based on their own subjective perceptions. By analysing coping strategies, we discover diverse ways older people help themselves when faced with various risks. Methods: This paper is based on a study with a two-stage mixed method research design that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. The initial quantitative survey data on the quota sample (N=558) is later expanded in the primary qualitative part employing a grounded theory approach with multi-stage coding procedures, analysing 35 semistructured in-depth interviews. Results: In older peopleʼs perceptions, health risks largely dominate. Health problems can highly endanger oneʼs quality of life, which is strongly represented by the category of independence. To better cope with health-threatening circumstances of everyday life, older people use various active and passive coping strategies, ranging from the use of technological aids to self-limitation and receiving social support. Discussion: The analysis of coping strategies represents a suitable approach for observing older people as active agents promoting their own well-being. On the basis of their individual coping strategies, we are able to indirectly assess which areas we could do more in for the autonomy and social inclusion of older people in our society.
The elderly are in many ways more vulnerable than other groups in society. To research the vulnerabilities of the elderly, this article works with the concept of social exclusion. It analyses social exclusion using a mixed-method model drawing on secondary quantitative data combined with in-depth interviews. The quantitative data were used to identify which areas of social exclusion particularly affect older people in Slovenia. The areas observed in the study were material deprivation, spatial exclusion, poor health and access to health care, housing exclusion and interpersonal exclusion, and the fi rst three areas were identifi ed as the most problematic and widespread. The strategies the elderly use to cope with social exclusion were analysed using qualitative data and the grounded theory approach. In all areas various coping strategies were observed that indicate that the elderly are actively trying to improve their situation. It also seems that similar strategies are employed in different areas of social exclusion, the most important of them being strategies based on individualsʼ capacities and social networks.
Background: Andersenʼs behavioural model for predicting the use of health care services has already been used to explain the utilization of home care services or other community type services. The model includes predisposing and enabling factors and illness level. We will use the enabling factors to explain variability in the utilization of home care services across Slovenian municipalities. Methods: Multiple classification analysis is performed on municipalities as units of analysis. The dependent variable is the number of users of home care among 1000 residents of the municipality (both 65+). Several enabling factors are included in the model, which measure the characteristics of municipalities and their residents. Results: Enabling factors explain 13% of the variability in the number of home care users. Significantly more users are found in municipalities that are more urban, have a lower number of residents per km2, have a higher proportion of students and percentage of active population. Organizational factors (the price of services and the provision of services during afternoons, weekends and holidays) are not related to the number of users, and nor is the number of residents receiving financial social assistance. Conclusions: The study revealed important determinants of the utilization of home care services in Slovenian municipalities. The lack of a significant relationship between the number of users and organizational factors can be attributed to the novelty of this program in Slovenia. We stress the need to conduct more research in this field, especially the collection of data on the individual level of users.