Home Institution

Tulane University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment


Life conditions are a fundamental aspect of the health of senior citizens, as these are the factors that determine their quality of life and capacity to satisfy their needs. Life conditions are dependent on the particular social, political, economic, and geographic context of the region. This study intends to answer the following question: How are the life conditions of senior citizens belonging to Hospital Makewe, located in the IX region of Chile? This quali-quantitative study utilized observation, surveys (n = 40) and interviews (n = 15) in order to accomplish the main objective. The main objective was to describe senior citizen’s life circumstances, with particular focuses in their health needs and the ways in which the hospital can intervene to better these life circumstances. The results of this study demonstrate that among the population of senior citizens belonging to the Hospital Makewe, there exist both life conditions that are conducive and non-conducive to proper health. Conditions that are not conducive to proper health are characterized by both social and physical isolation, poor material living conditions, lack of medical attention, and the limited resources of Hospital Makewe. Overall, the results justify the need for more interventions to promote the health and improve the life conditions of all senior citizens of Hospital Makewe, not only those who are in the most vulnerable conditions. It is proposed that this goal could be achieved through the dedication of more resources to the attention of senior citizens and a focus on the social determinants of health that are most relevant to senior citizens.


Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Health and Medical Administration | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Latin American Studies | Medical Education | Medical Humanities | Medicine and Health | Mental and Social Health | Public Health

Article Location