The increase in the number of the elderly in a given population has been caused by better living conditions, health care and other factors being characteristic of developed societies. One of the determinants of life comfort of humans is the quality of life that is determined by health, psyche, independence and social bonds. The problem is of particular importance in the group of the elderly and has been discussed in numerous scientific reports. The objective of the paper was to critically review scientific publications referring to the issue of quality of life of the elderly and on this basis to indicate the most important achievements and the areas that require further research. Thus far the concept of quality of life has not been precisely defined as haven’t the factors to describe that concept. In the paper, those significant determinants were characterised which, according to the authors, are of essential significance when evaluating the quality of life of the elderly. Among them, there are: health, nutrition, mental and physical activity, education and social context. Health is the most important factor to determine the quality of life regardless of the geographic region. The state of health primarily affects self-reliance in life. In many publications the predominating opinion is that social environment is the second main determinant of the quality of life. The environment is understood as a family, friends and acquaintances, and finally a peer group. Mental activity (including education) and physical activity are other important factors influencing the quality of life of seniors, whereby mental activity was more frequent than physical activity. The review of the results of the existing research on the quality of life of the elderly suggests there are differentiated domains and determinants of the quality of life. The studies on that social group were fragmentary, but nevertheless they properly described the model of quality of life of seniors. In particular was pointed out the advisability of various activities and projects to improve the quality of life during the period of grand old age.
quality of life, the elderly, determinants of life quality, health, nutrition, physical activity