Relational aspects of meaning in life among older people - a group-interview gerontechnology study
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CitationSaarelainen, Suvi-Maria. Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen, Anna. Pöyhiä, Reino. (2020). Relational aspects of meaning in life among older people - a group-interview gerontechnology study. Ageing and society, [Published online 05 November 2020], 10.1017/S0144686X20001300.
Earlier studies show that experiencing life as meaningful in old age promotes holistic wellbeing and health among older people. As more and more people are living with reduced capacities in their own homes, there is an urgent need to find new ways of promoting holistic wellbeing of the ageing population. Analysing data gathered from existential discussion groups on Service TV (STV), we show how strongly relationality and meaning in life are intertwined for older people. Our findings indicate that respect and support for the autonomy of older people is very important: in order to continue living at home, and prepare for a future with reduced capacities, they need family members for support. Autonomy of ageing becomes relational as choices and wishes are negotiated with family members. Relationships also contribute to loss of meaning. When older people felt that they were not close enough to their family, longed for friends of the same age, were bereaved or widowed, the relational gap caused a violation of meaning. In contrast, participation and activities with peers brought deep joy and connectedness to the lives of the participants. STV provided a new channel for participants to find and form meaningful relationships. Therefore, it is concluded that relationality can be supported by technological means of care.
Subjectsrelationality meaning in life gerontechnology technical-assisted care old age
Link to the original itemhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X20001300
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
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