“Then She Looked at Me and Said – the Old Age!”: The Impact of Social Representations of Ageing on the Elderly People’s Chronic Illness Experience in Latvia

Culture and Society 1 (1):29-41 (2010)

Signe Mezinska
University of Latvia
This article discusses the impact of social representations of ageing, such as breakdown, inevitability of illnesses and unfitness, on chronic illness experience of elderly people in Latvia. The qualitative study is based on theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism and uses grounded theory methodology. The results of the study lead to the conclusion that in Latvia certain social representations of ageing have a negative impact on chronic illness experience of elderly people, decreasing health-related quality of life and hampering reception of required medical assistance, adaptation of environment to the needs of elderly people with chronic illnesses and successful incorporation of the chronic illness in the context of biography.
Keywords illness experience  social representations of ageing  illness metaphors
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