Life is a banquet: Who is staying for dessert and why? A study of women aging vibrantly: A narrative inquiry examining the factors that impact women aging vibrantly
With the increased longevity that we now enjoy, the life stories of individuals who age vibrantly may provide insight as to those factors that contribute to rewarding, fulfilling, and independent later lives. Women currently outlive men by seven years; yet, the bulk of aging research has not been gender-specific. This propelled me to conduct a study of a diverse group of five women over age 70, self-identified as aging vibrantly, each of whom was willing to share her ideas as to what she believed contributed to her vibrant old age.
Narrative inquiry, the research methodology employed, yielded interviews that were poignantly peppered with understanding, laughter, and, sometimes tears. The result was an opportunity for the participants to critically reflect on their lives and for me, as researcher, to consider their stories though a number of lenses including: adult development and feminist theory perspectives and issues related to ageism.
The study conducted resulted in the weaving of an intricate and vivid tapestry of the individual women--each a unique survival tale complete with lessons for younger women, who may one day face challenges in their own quest for vibrant aging and provide adult educators with additional knowledge about how one may achieve vibrant aging.
0453: Womens studies
0516: Adult education
0620: Developmental psychology