Attitudes toward ageing have powerful influences and impact older adults' own perception of health, quality of life and utilisation of health and social care services. This study describes attitudes to ageing among 490 Norwegian older adults living in the community who responded to The Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire. Results showed that in spite of physical changes and psychological losses, the attitudes of older adults support life acceptance with gained wisdom in feeling that there were many pleasant things about growing older and that their identity was not defined by their age. They demonstrated the ability to incorporate age-related changes within their identities and at the same time maintain a positive view of self. Although they acknowledged that old age represented a time of loss with decreasing physical independence, they meant that their lives had made a difference, they wanted to give a good example to younger persons and felt it was a privilege to grow old.
To identify the health-related needs of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss.
Qualitative study using semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
A large community in Newfoundland.
Twenty-two adults between the ages of 58 and 80 years.
This needs assessment used a qualitative methodology of collecting and analyzing narrative data to develop an understanding of the issues, resources, and constraints of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss. Data were collected through semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenologic analysis.
Three constitutive patterns with relational themes and subthemes were identified: forgetting and remembering, normalizing yet questioning, and having limited knowledge of resources. Participants described many examples of how their daily lives were affected by forgetfulness. They had very little knowledge of resources that provided information or support. Most of the participants believed they could not discuss their memory problems with their family doctors.
It is important for older adults with mild memory loss to have access to resources that will assist them in understanding their condition and make them feel supported.
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This paper is a report of a study of the meaning of living alone from the perspective of older people with dementia.
Risks and problems experienced by older women living alone have been investigated mostly through quantitative research. Balancing their safety and autonomy is a serious international community care dilemma. Older people's perspectives have been muted in qualitative research on living alone with dementia.
Using an interpretive phenomenological approach and van Manen's method, 14 interviews were conducted in Ontario, Canada from January 2004 to April 2005 with eight older women diagnosed with Alzheimer disease or a related dementia.
The theme holding back time expressed the temporal meaning of living alone. Pharmacological treatments represented stored time, offering the opportunity to hold back future dreaded time. Past experience with others with dementia was a context for holding on to now and facing some risks of living alone with memory loss. The women acknowledged the limited time remaining for, and identified endpoints to, living alone.
Insight into the impact of past experience with others with dementia could inform nursing assessment and advocacy for health/social services that are sensitive to the potential emotional impact of mixing people with varied levels of dementia in the same programme.
The concept of "successful aging" has become widely accepted in gerontology, yet continues to have no common underlying definition. Researchers have increasingly looked to older individuals for their lay definitions of successful aging. The present analysis is based on responses to five questionnaires administered to surviving participants of the male Manitoba Follow-up Study cohort (www.mfus.ca) in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 (n = 2,043 men were alive at a mean age of 78 years in 1996). One question on each survey asked: "What is YOUR definition of successful aging?" Applying content analysis to the 5,898 narratives received over the 11 years, we developed a coding system encompassing 21 main themes and 86 sub-themes defining successful aging. We quantitatively analyzed trends in prevalence of themes of successful aging prospectively over time. Our findings empirically support colleagues' past suggestions to shift from defining successful aging in primarily biomedical terms, by taking lay views into account.
With many Western societies structured for adults to live longer and take responsibility for their health, it is valuable to investigate how older persons reason about this demand. Using mixed methods, this pilot studied how older persons reason about responsibility for health and their responsibility as a patient. Interviews with a small Swedish sample of 65-84 year olds were analyzed for qualitative characteristics and quantitative complexity in reasoning. Using adult development theory, we predicted at least three different stages of performance in reasoning. Results indicated four different stages: two where there is no actual reasoning about health and responsibility, and two where reasoning does occur, each qualitatively different. Results suggest a long-standing blind spot in health studies, that older people do not comprehend responsibility issues in the same way. There are significant implications for closing this gap between demand to take responsibility and capabilities to do so.
The decision to relocate in old age is intricately linked to thoughts and desires to stay put. However, most research focuses either on strategies that allow people to age in place or on their reasons for relocation. There is a need for more knowledge on very old peoples' residential reasoning, including thoughts about aging in place and thoughts about relocation as one intertwined process evolving in everyday life. The aim of this study was to explore what we refer to as the process of residential reasoning and how it changes over time among very old people, and to contribute to the theoretical development regarding aging in place and relocation. Taking a longitudinal perspective, data stem from the ENABLE-AGE In-depth Study, with interviews conducted in 2003 followed up in interviews in 2011. The 16 participants of the present study were 80-89years at the time of the first interview. During analysis the Theoretical Model of Residential Normalcy by Golant and the Life Course Model of Environmental Experience by Rowles & Watkins were used as sensitizing concepts. The findings revealed changes in the process of residential reasoning that related to a wide variety of issues. Such issues included the way very old people use their environmental experience, their striving to build upon or dismiss attachment to place, and their attempts to maintain or regain residential normalcy during years of declining health and loss of independence. In addition, the changes in reasoning were related to end-of-life issues. The findings contribute to the theoretical discussion on aging in place, relocation as a coping strategy, and reattachment after moving in very old age.
With population ageing, there is an increased interest in how to promote a good old age. A predominant concept in these discussions is successful ageing, which is mainly based on researchers' definitions. This article aims to explore successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people (24 persons aged 77-90 years). Individual open interviews were conducted and analysed according to qualitative content analysis. An overarching theme was formulated as "self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance". This embraced the content of four categories: "having sufficient bodily resources for security and opportunities", "structures that promote security and opportunities", "feeling valuable in relation to the outside world", and "choosing gratitude instead of worries". Ageing seems to be a dynamic process rather than a static structure and might therefore be susceptible to actions. Paying attention to attitudes and treating the older person with respect, particularly with regard to worries about increasing vulnerability, can lead to better ways of promoting successful ageing.