A Phenomenological Study on the Lived Experience of Aging of the Poor Elderly

빈곤노인의 노화경험에 대한 현상학적 연구

  • Received : 2009.08.06
  • Accepted : 2009.09.27
  • Published : 2009.11.30


The purpose of this study is to explore the lived experience of aging of the poor elderly and to identify suitable welfare policies on their behalf. For this purpose, I selected 16 participants from the criterion sampling of the impoverished elderly and conducted in-depth interviews, after which the collected data was analyzed using the phenomenological approach of Cloaizzi(1978). As a result, 27 themes, 10 clusters of themes, and 4 categories were pinpointed. The 4 categories are 'Facing death,' 'Becoming despondent in heart and mind,' 'Living a hard life,' and 'Going with the flow of life.' By integrating the meanings of these findings, the essence of the lived experience of aging of the poor elderly was to be, 'Self-sufficiency despite receiving welfare benefits from the government.' The lived experience of aging of the poor elderly was revealed as not being entirely based around dependency but rather around strongly independent and positive life attitudes. But also found were difficulties due to lack of living expenses required for survival, deep death anxieties, and life attitudes in the context of Confucian culture. Based on the study results above, I presented welfare policies for the poor elderly as outlined: implementation of social activities in order to encourage independence and positivity among the poor elderly, actualization of payment that meets at least the minimum costs of living, consolidation of psychological-emotional assistance, implementation of death-related education programs, and the compilation of a welfare policy manual for the impoverished elderly.


poor elderly;aging;phenomenological approach;social welfare policy for the poor elderly