Sense of meaning in life among the oldest old people living in a rural area in northern Sweden
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Older People Nursing, ISSN 1748-3735, E-ISSN 1748-3743, Vol. 10, no 3, 221-229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Having meaning in life is important for all people, and according to Erikson's developmental theory, this is especially true for older adults. However, there are few studies about meaning in life focusing on the oldest old.
AIM: The aim of our study was to illuminate the sense of meaning in life in the oldest old living in northern Sweden.
DESIGN: The study has a qualitative explorative and interpretative design.
METHOD: We interviewed three men and seven women between 85 and 95 years old and analysed the interviews using qualitative content analysis.
FINDINGS: Our findings revealed the following four themes: 'Creating space for living', 'Living in connection with others and nature', 'Seeing oneself as a link between generations' and 'Having trust in God'.
CONCLUSIONS: The sense of meaning in life in the oldest old was linked to regarding oneself as having a mission to carry out and to finding beauty, joy and happiness in life. The sense of meaning involved transferring to coming generations what earlier generations had left and having a deeply rooted faith in being taken care of from birth to the afterlife.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: When caring for the oldest old, it is important to take their experiences of sense of meaning in life into consideration and to focus on ways to maintain important sources of meaning in life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 3, 221-229 p.
ageing, care of older people, older people, older people nursing, qualitative methods
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100071DOI: 10.1111/opn.12077ISI: 000359834100008PubMedID: 25516075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-100071DiVA: diva2:789830