These findings provide a culture-specific view of successful aging in the Indian context, and reveal the multifaceted conceptualization of successful aging of older Indians – one that encompasses various biopsychosocial components.
Shilpa Bandyopadhyay, Assistant Professor, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India
Kamlesh Singh, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India.
There is a growing recognition of the importance of subjective definitions of successful aging from a clinical and policy perspective, and for their social and cultural relevance. However, the voices of older Indians remain largely underrepresented in the emerging body of qualitative literature on successful aging. Given this gap, and India’s burgeoning older population, the present study set out to examine their subjective perception of successful aging.
Using convenience sampling, data was collected from older men and women (N = 63, M Age = 71.21) living in the community, and in old age homes in Delhi NCR, through face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions. Reflexive thematic analysis resulted in four primary themes and eight sub-themes – Successful Aging as Personal Well-being, Tensions between Agency and Fatalism, comprising three sub-themes viz. the person as an active agent, co-existence of agency and fatalism, and negotiating with the invisible powers; Linked Lives comprising two sub-themes viz. the aging parent and the adult child, and spousal interrelationship; and The Social and Built Environment comprising three sub-themes, viz. complexity of social life: the health interface, social life in the neighborhood, and the good house.
These findings provide a culture-specific view of successful aging in the Indian context, and reveals the multifaceted conceptualization of successful aging of older Indians – one that encompasses various biopsychosocial components.
Published in: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
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