Older couples with long-term disabilities: Multiple jeopardy or successful ageing?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
In a study where older couples who had lived long lives with physical disabilities were interviewed about mutual care, an unexpected finding that while the couples reported worsening disabilities, they also described themselves as advantaged, and as maintaining a high level of activity in some areas of life. In this article, we investigate how the couples achieve this sense of ageing successfully when the participants’ stories of physical decline, from an outsider’s perspective, might be thought to produce double-, triple- or multiple jeopardy. The results show how the couples use different types of reference groups and refer to various resources to frame themselves as privileged. Furthermore, through environmental adaptations, technical aids and supportive services, they managed to maintain a high level of activity, despite living with disabilities. Notably, the couples described themselves as advantaged by referring to being older, to the long life with disabilities and to ageing with disabilities together. The overarching ambition of the article is to problematize established notions of successful ageing. Considering that the couples referred to the very conditions that might be seen as disadvantageous, the problem of pre-defined criteria for successful ageing becomes particularly apparent.
Long-term disability, successful ageing, active ageing, couples, multiple jeopardy, conjoint interviews
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104807OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104807DiVA: diva2:699256