Aim: This study explored the relationship between coping strategies and adaptation difficulties for the disabled elderly.
Methods: Data were collected during face-to-face interviews with the physically disabled elderly in long-term care institutions and in rehabilitation departments in middle Taiwan. Totally, 505 persons were analyzed. The adaptation to disability was evaluated by health care, domestic environment, family relationships, social life and psychological distress as the dependent variables. Factor analysis and multiple regression models were applied for the analysis.
Results: Three types of coping strategies were identified: (i) acceptance and action reduced the difficulty in adapting to disability in the health-care and social life dimensions; (ii) venting and avoidance increased the difficulty in adapting in the health-care, domestic environment and psychological distress dimensions; and (iii) seeking support was related to greater adapting to difficulty in terms of family relationships.
Conclusion: More effective coping strategies should be offered to the disabled elderly to help them adapt to their disability.