AIM. The aim of the study was to elucidate the attitudes of the middle-aged towards ageing and to analyse their subjective evaluations of health and the factors complicating achievement of mental balance.
METHOD. A quest ionnai resurvey for gathering data was carried out in Puhja rural municipality in 2008. A total of 210 persons participated in the survey.
RESULTS. Two contradictory attitudes became apparent. On one hand, positive – the elderly are active members of the society and can influence the society. On the other hand, negative – the elderly are ill and frail; old age causes poverty and exclusion. The state of mind of the middleaged is affected by the level of preparations for ageing, current state of health and worries related to maintaining it, as well as concerns about the possibilities of receiving necessary assistance in the future. Women have more factors that influence their state of mind negatively compared to men.
CONCLUSIONS. Successful ageing and coping in old age require, already in middle age, re-evaluation of current attitudes and way of thinking, good access to social and health care services and continuous analysis of the coping of the elderly.