Age and disease at an arms length: How active aging and health technologies change the expectations towards late life

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningfagfællebedømt

How are the boundaries of disease and health, age, life and death negotiated through technology and active aging? The paper focuses on how disease and age are dealt with by active elderly at activity centres in the Copenhagen area. New health technologies lead to new expectations to the longevity of life. A new ethics is emerging, focused on longevity and spreading through healthcare policies and technologies . At activity centres active elderly talk about health in old age, share experiences with health technologies and reflect on longevity, while working out. Chronic diseases are common in old age, but this does not mean that you give up or accept decreased quality of life. Ends change as new means emerge . The technological and medical abilities change the reflexive longevity. One expects to live a long and healthy life. Thus, technology can be conceived as a world-changing mediation. What it means to be old and ill is redefined through technology.

For a large group of active elderly, being diagnosed with a chronic disease is seen as a challenge to be overcome. During fieldwork at activity centres the interviewees have often reflected on how to continue life even though they suffer from a chronic (previously fatal) disease. The active elderly often stick to their image of themselves as active, youthful and energetic in spite of a chronic disease. Old age and disease is not what they identify with and seems to be conceived at an arms length.

In the paper the author explores how health technologies and an active lifestyle is part of practice and everyday life of active elderly. With the ethics of longevity activity and health technologies become tools to extend life.
Publikationsdatojun. 2012
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2012
BegivenhedThe 32nd Nordic Ethnology and Folklore Conference - Bergen, Norge
Varighed: 18 jun. 201221 jun. 2012


KonferenceThe 32nd Nordic Ethnology and Folklore Conference

ID: 40390444