Ageing International

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 115–135 | Cite as

Perceptions of Being Old and the Ageing Process

Article
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Abstract

Ageing anxiety is based on worry about age-related changes in one’s physical appearance and the belief that old age is a phase of life in which poor physical health, pain or discomfort, sensory losses and cognitive decline are inevitable. This qualitative study aimed to explore perceptions of being an older adult and the ageing process. Six focus groups were conducted with a total of 39 participants, aged between 50 and 92 years. An inductive thematic analysis identified three manifest themes within the data: freedom/liberation, independence/autonomy and personal responsibility/self-care, and one overarching, latent theme, continuity and change. Perceptions of ageing and old age among this group of older adults were generally positive, however, this positivity was tempered by fears about possible future declines in health and loss of independence.

Keywords

Ageing Positive ageing Freedom Independence Personal responsibility Continuity 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

“Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles Sturt UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Port MacquarieAustralia

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