The exploratory, descriptive and cross-sectional study which was undertaken from March 2008 to June 2009 examined the elderly person’s life styles in terms of nutritional preferences, health care measures adopted and why they were adopted to achieve healthy ageing. It also assessed whether there would be association between quality of life predictors (social support, living with spouse, finances and formal education) and health practices of the elderly persons in Osun State, Nigeria. The study was conducted in 10 purposively selected traditional core health districts in Ife/Ijesa zone of Osun State, Nigeria. Three hundred elderly 60 years and above were selected using key informants and snow balling techniques. Each of the 300 elderly persons identified one adult family member who was most involved in their care. Three hundred elderly persons and 300 caregivers were interviewed and fully participated in the study. Data collected were analyzed with the use of computer at two main levels in form of descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The study found that the participants traditional life styles, educational status, having personal money in old age and gender were major predictors of quality of life and positive health behaviors among the elderly. Variation on the influence of some other socio-demographic and economic characteristics of the participants such as living with spouse, peer relationship, type of marriages and residential location were also reported. In conclusion, elderly traditional life styles, educational background, state of finance, gender and marital stability contributed much to positive health practices and quality of life.
Key words: Predictors, positive health practices, elderly Nigerians.
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