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Before evening falls: Perspectives of a good old age and healthy ageing among oldest-old Swedish men
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8148-9538
Uppsala University Hospital.
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8795-7555
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Medical Science. Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8196-0553
2019 (English)In: Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Print), ISSN 0167-4943, E-ISSN 1872-6976, Vol. 82, no May-June, p. 35-44Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The late life experiences of men in the oldest-old age group have been under-researched, and their perspectives on ageing successfully neglected. This study explored the perspectives of oldest-old Swedish men on what a ‘good old age’ and ageing successfully meant to them. A purposive sample of 17 men, aged 85-90 years, was drawn from the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men. An interview guide explored participants’ perspectives on their ageing experiences and how they viewed ageing successfully. Participants were interviewed twice, with 1–2 weeks between interviews, and both interviews were recorded and transcribed. Content analysis identified four themes: i) Adaptation, concerning the ability to adapt to growing old with increasing limitations; ii) Sustaining Independence, related to financial resources and good health as the foundation for independence; iii) Belongingness, representing close relationships, established friendships, and the significance of the spouse; and iv) Perspectives of Time, also a common thread in all themes, in which past life experiences create an existential link between the past, the present and the future, establishing continuity of the self and enhancing life satisfaction. The participants presented themselves as active agents involved in maintaining meaning and achieving life satisfaction; a process related to the ability to manage changes in life. Our findings have resonance with models of healthy or successful ageing, but also diverge in important ways, since such models do not consider the significance of an individual’s life history for their present well-being, and primarily conceptualise health as an outcome, rather than as a resource.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 82, no May-June, p. 35-44
Keywords [en]
Life satisfactionhealthy agingOlder audultsMenContinuityAdaptationIndependenceBelongingnessTime
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Welfare; Health and Welfare
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-29320DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2019.01.002PubMedID: 30711841Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060768267OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-29320DiVA, id: diva2:1281442
Available from: 2019-01-22 Created: 2019-01-22 Last updated: 2019-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Carstensen, GunillaMcKee, KevinÅberg, Anna Cristina

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