Death & Dying

What Getting Old Really Feels Like For Some (Video)


Article written by Sam Carr and Chao Fang.
Narrated by Marie T. Russell.

The pandemic brought the longstanding issue of loneliness and isolation in the lives of older people back into the public consciousness. When COVID-19 hit, we had only just completed the 80 in-depth interviews which formed the dataset for what we called The Loneliness Project – a large-scale, in-depth exploration of how older people experience loneliness and what it means for them.

Paula* had not been living in her retirement apartment for very long when I arrived for our interview. She welcomed me into a modern, comfortable home. We sat in the living room, taking in the impressive view from her balcony and our conversation unfolded.

Paula, 72, told me how four years ago she’d lost her husband. She had been his carer for over ten years, as he slowly declined from a degenerative condition.

She was his nurse, driver, carer, cook and “bottle-washer”. Paula said she got used to people always asking after her husband and forgetting about her. She told me: “You are almost invisible … you kind of go in the shadows as the carer.”

While she had obviously been finding life challenging, it was also abundantly clear that she loved her husband dearly and had struggled profoundly to cope with his death...

Continue Reading at InnerSelf.com (plus audio/mp3 version of article)


Music By Caffeine Creek Band, Pixabay

Narrated by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com


About The Authors

photo of Sam Carr, Senior is a Lecturer in Education with Psychology, University of BathSam Carr, Senior is a Lecturer in Education with Psychology, University of Bath. His research and teaching interests are focused upon the relationship between policy and psychology. He is interested in how policy and discourse "shapes" us. He is authoring his second book around educational policy and its link to motivation.

His particular interest is in exploring human relationships and their role in our psychological experiences through the lifespan. To this end, attachment theory (as a way of thinking about and understanding relationships) is one of his favoured frameworks.
photo of Chao Fang is a research associate based in the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, UK


Chao Fang
 is a research associate based in the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, UK. He is currently working on a cross-cultural project exploring emotional loneliness of people living in retirement communities in the UK and Australia.

Chao is also affiliated with the End of Life Care Studies Group at the University of Glasgow, where he has worked on an international project to analyse end of life care issues between the UK and Japan.

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This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
 

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