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Physical capability and the advantages and disadvantages of ageing: Perceptions of older age by men and women in two British cohorts

Parsons, S; Gale, CR; Kuh, D; Elliott, J; (2014) Physical capability and the advantages and disadvantages of ageing: Perceptions of older age by men and women in two British cohorts. Ageing and Society , 34 (3) pp. 452-471. 10.1017/S0144686X12001067. Green open access

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Abstract

In an increasingly ageing society, its older members are receiving considerable political and policy attention. However, much remains to be learnt about public perceptions of older age, particularly the views and experiences of older individuals themselves. Drawing on qualitative interviews carried out with members of two British cohorts (N = 60) who have reached the ‘third age’, this paper discusses perceptions of age, focusing particularly on how perceived advantages and disadvantages differ by respondents' self-reported physical capability. The interviews were carried out in 2010 as part of the HALCyon (Healthy Ageing across the Life Course) collaborative research programme. Findings suggest there is some difference in the way older people view aspects of ageing by capability and that although advantages are widely perceived, physical decline and associated health concerns were the overwhelming theme across the conversations. The article concludes by making tentative suggestions to inform the positive ageing agenda and its related policies.

Type: Article
Title: Physical capability and the advantages and disadvantages of ageing: Perceptions of older age by men and women in two British cohorts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X12001067
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X12001067
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: ageing, capability, cohort, third age
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069165
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