Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | ’Successful Ageing’ in Practice: Reflections on Health, Activity and Normality in Old Age in Sweden

Title:
’Successful Ageing’ in Practice: Reflections on Health, Activity and Normality in Old Age in Sweden
Author:
Åsa Alftberg: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Sweden Susanne Lundin: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Sweden
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124481
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2012
Volume:
4
Theme:
Theme: Self-care Translated into Practice Edited by Åsa Alftberg and Kristofer Hansson

Pages:
481-497
No. of pages:
17
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2012-11-09


This article aims to contribute to the critical examination of the notions of health and activity, and to discuss how these cultural and social constructs have impact on elderly people’s lives. An ethnographic perspective gives fruitful inputs to explore how old people deal with the image of old age as one of decay and decline, while they simultaneously relate to the normative idea of so-called successful ageing. The focus is thus on how elderly people create meaning, and how they manage and make use of the contradictory cultural beliefs that are both understood as normality: old age as a passive period of life involving decline and disease, and activity as an individual responsibility in order to stay healthy. The study sample is created with two different methods, qualitative interviews and two different questionnaires, and the majority of the respondents are 65+ years old. The article demonstrates the intersection between old age and a health-promoting active lifestyle. The notion of activity includes moral values, which shape the beliefs and narratives of being old. This forms part of the concept of self-care management, which in old age is also called successful ageing. The idea that activities are health promoting is the framework in which activities are performed, but significance and meaning are rather created from practice.

Keywords: Self-care; health; activity; normality; ageing; practice; lifestyle; old age; health-promoting

Volume 4, Theme: Theme: Self-care Translated into Practice Edited by Åsa Alftberg and Kristofer Hansson

, Article 25, 2012

Author:
Åsa Alftberg, Susanne Lundin
Title:
’Successful Ageing’ in Practice: Reflections on Health, Activity and Normality in Old Age in Sweden:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124481
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  • Volume 4, Theme:: Theme: Self-care Translated into Practice Edited by Åsa Alftberg and Kristofer Hansson

    , Article 25, 2012

    Author:
    Åsa Alftberg, Susanne Lundin
    Title:
    ’Successful Ageing’ in Practice: Reflections on Health, Activity and Normality in Old Age in Sweden:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124481
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Peter Bontje, Eric Asab & Staffan Josephsson (2016). Balancing struggles with desired results in everyday activities: strategies for elderly persons with physical disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 30(1): 154. DOI: 10.1111/scs.12234
  • ASKE JUUL LASSEN (2015). Keeping disease at arm's length – how older Danish people distance disease through active ageing. Ageing and Society, 35(07): 1364. DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X14000245
  • Miloslav Klugar, Juraj Čáp, Jitka Klugarová, Jana Marečková, Donald N. Roberso & Zuzana Kelnarová (2016). The personal active aging strategies of older adults in Europe. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 14(5): 193. DOI: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2016-002393
  • Susanne Frenner & Britt Östlund (2016). What happens when seniors participate in new eHealth schemes?. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 11(7): 572. DOI: 10.3109/17483107.2015.1063016
  • Aske Juul Lasse & Michael Andersen (2016). What Enhancement Techniques Suggest about the Good Death. Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, 8(2): 104. DOI: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.160928
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