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Development and Experience of Optimism and Resilience in Older Adults

Positive ageing is a process of feeling good and maintaining a positive attitude, keeping healthy and being fully involved in life, rather than considering ageing as frailty or functional decline. Using a case study approach the present paper aimed to comprehend the ways in which the life experiences of older adults facilitated the development of optimism and resilience, the changes in their lives and the influence on their ability to cope and adapt to these changes. The participants were older adults 70 -80 years, men and women, retired, whose spouses have expired at least a year ago and were living with family in Bangalore city. They were interviewed using a semi structured interview schedule developed by the researcher and validated by experts. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse how they make sense of their experiences as older adults. Results show that optimism of older adults stem from factors such as readiness to appreciate, positivity and a sense of hope and determination. They were also resilient in challenging situations because of their belief in a higher power and supportive family and friends. The study has implications for promoting a positive and healthy attitude towards older adults and to help them to move forward with hope and courage.

Author avatar
Sunita Menezes
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