Publication details

Active Ageing of "the others" - possibilities of active ageing in the fourth age

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Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Active ageing in its original definition is closely connected with quality of life and its maintenance in spite of age and health limitations. The basis of active ageing is agency supported by the enabling environment. In its real applications, the active ageing is more identified with the preservation of economic activity and enjoyment of leisure time. This perspective makes people in the fourth age, i.e. with various extent of disability, invisible. The othering is strengthened by the fact, that the emphasis on possibilities of the young old postponed all characteristics traditionally connected with old age into the fourth age. The fourth age became a feared stage of life, which is better to avoid. The definition of the fourth age in terms of decline and dependency has strengthened the distinction between “the active” and “the others”. Based on the repeated interviews with 10 fourth agers and their carers and four weeks of ethnographic observation in the households of disabled older adults, the presentation focuses on the ways people in the fourth age fulfilled the active ageing. Health difficulties make typical ways of active ageing impossible, yet fourth agers are not only passive recipients of care. Active ageing in the fourth age can be seen in pro-active attitudes, the acceptance of incoming imitations, and the establishment of successful compensatory strategies. Despite changes in activities and the fact that most time is spent at home or nearby, a proportion of fourth agers preserve a strong degree of agency. As fourth agers often become bare objects of care, their competences to act are sidelined and suppressed in home care as well as in care homes. The negotiating of agency in the context of heterogeneity of the fourth age would be presented.
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