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Janicke Andersson
Universitetslektor Socialt arbete

Open Access 3


Successful Dying? Older Adults Reflection on Finitude of Life and Strategies to Cope with Ageing

Andersson, Janicke

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


In this study, I have followed a group of older adults (the oldest born 1925 and the youngest 1946) through a total of 6 focus group events to highlight how older people relate to their own aging in aspects of temporality and the finitude of life. In total, 5 women and 9 men attended the focus groups. Themes for the focus groups have been: “Popular and public beliefs about aging”, “Older, Senior, Old”, “Breakpoints in Life”, “My Aging”, “Recap”. Finitude proved to be something that all informants reflected on virtually daily and in several dimensions. The informants also expressed the feeling that there were aspects of, in particular, the bodily aging, which they felt were beyond their control. Here the statements follow the same reasoning as has been shown in previous studies on the aging body as divided into an interior body and an exterior body. The lack of control was combined with strategies to take control over their future ageing. Self-governing strategies such as exercising and being active physically as well as cognitive was used to increase the number of healthy years. Other ways of taking control were about future written instructions to healthcare professionals and related people about how to be cared for in the final stages of life and the drastic alternative of euthanasia. The chosen strategies, and the will to take control over ageing as well as dying made the boundaries of successful ageing expand to also include strategies for successful dying.

Citera: Andersson, Janicke, Successful Dying? Older Adults Reflection on Finitude of Life and Strategies to Cope with Ageing, 2019