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Self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance: Successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people

DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20194

Keywords: Age well , healthy ageing , qualitative research , quality of life , older persons , content analysis , experiences

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Abstract:

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.

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