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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 972194, 4 pages
Research Article

Are Koreans Prepared for the Rapid Increase of the Single-Household Elderly? Life Satisfaction and Depression of the Single-Household Elderly in Korea

1Department of Nursing, Daewon University College, 316 Daehak-Road, Jecheon-City, Chungbuk 390-702, Republic of Korea
2Red Cross College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, 221 Heukseok-Dong, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea

Received 6 August 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editors: J. Gonzalez and R. R. Tampi

Copyright © 2013 Mi-Ra Won and Yun-Jung Choi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. In Korea, it has been estimated that the number of the single-household elderly increased 45% from 2005 to 2010. This research was conducted to provide empirical resources for development of a community mental health program by an explorative investigation on depression, coping mechanism, and life satisfaction of a single-household elderly population. Design and Methods. This research applied a descriptive survey research design. Participants were 225 single-household elderlies residing in Seoul, Korea. The geriatric depression scale and the satisfaction with life scale were used to check the level of depression and life satisfaction of the participants. Results. Results showed that 46.3 percent of the participants were categorized as having light-to-severe level of depression, and 80.5 percent of the participants responded that they were dissatisfied with their lives. This research demonstrated that the level of depression and life satisfaction of the Korean single-household elderly is statistically significantly related to age and gender as well as coping resources and human resources. Implications. Current public health services in Korea for the single-household elderly are still lacking and require active support, intervention, and research to provide effective programs and services. Case management, counseling, and various programs based on Korean culture including support from family members and community-based assistance are recommended to help the vulnerable population.