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The essence of aging in place for unmarried elderly women of diverse backgrounds: A phenomenological study

Jean L Chicoine, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This phenomenological research explored the meaning of aging in place for 10 unmarried women who are age 65 and older and who are of diverse backgrounds. Interviews were conducted using a grand tour question with probe questions. Demographic and residential satisfaction data were obtained using a questionnaire. The 10 women were selected by expert referral. Data were collected from September 2002 through June of 2003. A modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method of analysis was used. This process included obtaining a full description of the researchers experience of the phenomenon, determining the significance of the descriptions of the experience, recording all relevant statements, horizontalization or unduplication of relevant statements, clustering the meaning units into themes, developing descriptions of the textures of the experiences, developing descriptions of the structures of the experiences, constructing a textural-structural description of the aging in place experience, and integrating all participants' experiences of aging in place into the essence of aging in place. ^ The findings indicate that racial, ethnic, cultural, and personality differences combine in different ways and influence aging in place. However, there are commonalities of the aging in place experience. The findings suggest that unmarried women age 65 and older who are of diverse backgrounds value their life experiences and the wisdom gained from their experiences. Their life experiences were framed by world events. How they experience aging in place and how they respond to events reflect values and attitudes influenced by family, relatives, friends, and neighbors. ^ They recognize that it is important to remain physically active and mentally engaged at every stage of life. While research has revealed differences between and among elderly women of different races and ethnicities, there is an essential structure of aging in place. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Chicoine, Jean L, "The essence of aging in place for unmarried elderly women of diverse backgrounds: A phenomenological study" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116567.