Perceptions of being old and the ageing process

Rhonda Shaw, Matthew Langman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Ageing anxiety is based on worry about age-related changes in one’s physical appearance and the belief that old age is a phase of life in which poor physical health, pain or discomfort, sensory losses and cognitive decline are inevitable. This qualitative study aimed to explore perceptions of being an older adult and the ageing process. Six focus groups were conducted with a total of 39 participants, aged between 50 and 92 years. An inductive thematic analysis identified three manifest themes within the data: freedom/liberation, independence/autonomy and personal responsibility/self-care, and one overarching, latent theme, continuity and change. Perceptions of ageing and old age among this group of older adults were generally positive, however, this positivity was tempered by fears about possible future declines in health and loss of independence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalAgeing International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2017


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