The aim of this study is to understand how healthy, older adults in Sweden perceive their life situation after retirement. The study is based on a lifeworld approach, and a phenomenographic method was used. Eighteen participants were interviewed, and data were analysed according to the phenomenographic principle of qualitatively different categories. Two categories were developed. The first category, “perceptions that draw attention inward, towards one’s self”, was further described in three subcategories: Sense of decreased status in society, the desire to keep aging at a distance, and contemplation of one’s own existence. The second category, “perceptions that draw attention outward, away from one’s self” was further described in the following four subcategories: caretaking of family members, involvement in social relationships, finding of deep meaning in animals and nature and engagement with society. In the discussion, the findings are further illuminated through comparisons with concepts such as maturity, wisdom and gerotranscendence, and reflections on the findings’ relevance to a caring context follow. The conclusion suggests this study can provide knowledge that will allow healthcare providers to bridge the gap between generations in order to provide high-quality care. However, for a more profound caring dialogue, for example, about the end of life, a deeper analysis is required.
Published Date: 2019-01-18; Received Date: 2018-12-27