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The body as existential midpoint-the aging and dying body of nursing home residents
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Society, Diversity, Identity . Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2010 (English)In: JOURNAL OF AGING STUDIES, ISSN 0890-4065, Vol. 24, no 2, 96-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The human body has been the object of extensive attention in the social sciences, recently receiving increasing interest from social gerontology as well. However, the issue of old bodies and particularly the body in the fourth age of life remains relatively under-researched. The need to give emphasis to the subjective experiences of the oldest old during their final phase of life has been pointed out. This article is based on data obtained from ethnographic fieldwork carried out on a nursing home ward, and explores and analyses how the residents talk about and regard their own aging and dying bodies. The focus is on the link between the disintegrating body, aging and death in an institution-based care context. It was found that the body is the central entity through which the residents experience daily life, through pain, through the caring process, through diminished physical and cognitive functions, and as such constitutes the existential nucleus of their being. The article includes a discussion on how these experiences also elucidate the way in which the body is a mediator for issues seldom acknowledged such as existential needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. , 2010. Vol. 24, no 2, 96-104 p.
Keyword [en]
Aging, Body, Death, End-of-life, Institution-based eldercare, Nursing home
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-55518DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2008.10.005ISI: 000276713600003OAI: diva2:316235
Available from: 2010-04-30 Created: 2010-04-30 Last updated: 2010-04-30

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Whitaker, Anna
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ReferencesLink to record
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