Being in charge of life: perceptions of lifestyle among women of retirement age

Carina Elgán, Åsa Axelsson, Bengt Fridlund

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    AIM: The aim of this study was to describe the perceptions of lifestyle among women of retirement age. BACKGROUND: Women go through many transitions during their lives, which impact on their lifestyle and possibly their outlook on life. Family circumstances such as motherhood and marital status change over time and the menopause is also likely to influence their view of life. METHOD: Data were collected through interviews with 20 women, aged 61-70, selected by means of strategic sampling. The interviews were analysed using a phenomenographic approach. FINDINGS: Three structural aspects emerged: being healthy as life turns out, living life in their own way, and taking care of everyday life. The women described lifestyle as a means of being healthy, having an active role in society, being content with what one has and the need to adapt oneself to limiting circumstances. Lifestyle was also associated with being in charge and making one's own choices in life based on one's own values. They reported that they were independent and made decisions about their life. The informants considered that lifestyle was an asset that helped them to cope with everyday life and to make the most of each day. CONCLUSION: Lifestyle is a tool that requires independence, the right to self-determination over everyday life and adjustment to limitations in order to ensure the psychological well-being of women of retirement age. Further research is needed in order to delineate the possible association between lifestyle and psychological well-being.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)730-735
    Number of pages5
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Nursing (30305)


    • health
    • life situation
    • lifestyle
    • phenomenography
    • well-being
    • women


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