Previous qualitative studies of lay perspectives explored older adults’ definitions and views of successful aging as a condition. This study aims at examining their perceptions of successful aging as a process. For this purpose, 207 individuals aged 65–92 years old were interviewed by students, who asked the participants for advice on how to achieve successful aging. Three principal themes were identified: (a) Investments at early stages are profitable; (b) preservation of early qualities contributes to well-being, and (c) internal resources are a key factor in the coping process. Each theme reflected a wide range of actions and attitudes perceived as useful by participants. Findings indicated that older adults consider successful aging a positive outcome of resources acquired and efforts invested throughout life, viewing it as a 3-phase, lifelong process that begins with early adulthood investments, continues through efforts to preserve continuity in spite of changes and losses, and concludes with various emotional coping strategies applied when counteraction is no longer viable.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology