Active aging as a way of keeping diseases at arm’s length

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningfagfællebedømt

Active ageing has increasingly become the ideal of how to live later life. Concepts of activity, participation and independence are central to how elderly see themselves and practice aging (Katz 2000). The elderly are encouraged and expected to stay active and independent. This is believed to be good for their quality of life, health, functionality and the economy (Sundhedsstyrelsen 2008, EC 2006, WHO 2002).

At the same time active aging is inscribed into a general health care focus, which individualizes the responsibility for health and disease. This requires subjects ready to self-care, by paying attention to the signals of the body and leading healthy lives (Rose 2001). However, active aging seems to contain an ambiguity in this aspect, as the practice of active aging is often a way for elderly to keep diseases at arm’s length, and not a way to sense the possible abnormalities in the body. Through ethnographic fieldwork at two activity centres, the author has studied the role of activity and practice of active aging in the everyday live of the elderly users of the centres. There seems to be a fundamental difference between how active aging is thought of at policy level – as a part of a health regime of prevention and sensing the body - and how these elderly use activities to distance the sensations of the body. Activity in this way becomes a way to maintain disease at arms length.
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2013
BegivenhedTransformations of health practices and health policies in the Nordic Welfare States - KUA, Copenhagen
Varighed: 24 apr. 201325 apr. 2013


KonferenceTransformations of health practices and health policies in the Nordic Welfare States

ID: 44385314