The healthcare in aging: the men's view


  • Juliana Sousa Coelho FIOCRUZ; Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou; Programa de Pós-graduação em Saúde Coletiva
  • Karla C. Giacomin Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento
  • Josélia Oliveira Araújo Firmo Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento



Culture determines representations of old age and gender that influence the perceptions of health, illness and care. The interface between these phenomena is the object of this study, based on the perspective of medical anthropology, which aims to investigate how older men from community express and perceive the relationship between health, disease, aging and masculinity, and how these social constructs relate to subsystems informal and professional care. We interviewed 27 men aged 60 or older, living in Bambuí (MG) and assisted by the Family Health Strategy, about their daily activities, their health and their forms of healthcare. The model of signs, meanings and actions, used in the collection and analysis of data, allowed recognizing the typical ways of thinking and acting of older men in relation to the health-illness-care process, as well as their interactions and contradictions regarding to the professional and informal sectors of healthcare system. The material and symbolic production of the respondents shows that in general the male identity is linked to the concept of health, which is tied to the social relations that underlie the informal healthcare. Opposed to this perception is the aging view inexorably related to sickness, in which the professional care system is anchored. Thus, older men restrict their demand for healthcare in part because their own socio-cultural construction of masculinity denies the frailty, but also this is due to the health actions and health professionals that ignore the specificities of gender and the value of the functional independence to older men.


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How to Cite

Coelho, J. S., Giacomin, K. C., & Firmo, J. O. A. (2016). The healthcare in aging: the men’s view . Saúde E Sociedade, 25(2), 408-421.