Inner Strength as Disclosed in Narratives of the Oldest Old

Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Sweden.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 11/2007; 17(8):1060-73. DOI: 10.1177/1049732307306922
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to illuminate the meaning of inner strength when very old as narrated by women and men 85 and 90 years old. The authors used a phenomenological hermeneutical method to analyze interviews from 11 women and 7 men, aged either 85 or 90, who scored high on scales measuring phenomena related to inner strength. The following themes emerged from the analysis: feeling competent in oneself yet having faith in others, looking on the bright side of life without hiding from the dark, feeling eased and also being active, being the same yet growing into a new garment, and living in a connected present but also in the past and the future. The authors understood the meaning as Life Goes On--Living It All. To illuminate this meaning further, the authors related the findings to the Aristotelian virtues and the golden mean, and to developmental theory.

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