Asian Nurs Res.  2020 May;14(2):97-104. 10.1016/j.anr.2020.04.001.

The Sociocultural Meaning of “My Place”: Rural Korean Elderly People's Perspective of Aging in Place

  • 1Department of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Nursing, Gwangju University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea


Aging in place becomes an important concept in elderly care plans worldwide. It pursues to enhance quality of later lives and maintain dignity in older adults. However, one's own place may have some kinds of symbols and meanings to an individual in accordance with the culture he/she belongs to. Without considering it, many cultural conflicts can emerge when policies are realized. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the sociocultural meaning of “my place” for elderly Koreans ahead of enacting a policy for the so-called “integrated community care” in South Korea, pursuant to aging in place for the elderly population.
This study used an ethnographical methodology. The data were collected by observation, indepth interviews with 10 informants, home visits, field notes, and photos, and analyzed using Spradley's ethnographic approach.
As a result, the cultural theme of “my place” in elderly Koreans was “A place that makes me be present.” Three categories representing the meaning of “my place” were emerged: keeping me safe and comfortable, representing my life, and maintaining my control and influence.
Researchers and policymakers should carefully consider the sociocultural perspective when planning, moderating, and implementing a new long-term care policy to achieve aging in place in South Korea.


aging; cultural characteristics; health policy; Korea; qualitative research
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