Maintaining dignity in later life

In later life, people often experience health problems, bereavement and other significant changes in their lives. Such experiences can pose a threat to older people’s sense of dignity. This stage of life also focuses attention on the future and the need to prepare for the end of life, when dignity is a major concern. At this stage in the life course older people often become dependent on a range of people, including health professionals and family members for support and care.

The aim of this project is to examine the experiences of older people who receive care and support, and to identify the ways they think that their sense of dignity is maintained or undermined at this time.

We understand dignity to encompass:

  • Identity
  • Respect
  • Recognition
  • Autonomy
  • Independence

We are interested in highlighting the views and perspectives of older people which we believe to be fundamentally important but not adequately understood. The questions we want to explore are:

  • What do older people have to say about dignity in their daily lives?
  • What resources are they able to draw upon?
  • What factors do they see as supporting or undermining their sense of dignity?
  • How do they prepare for an uncertain future?

This research is part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme: Project Code RES-352-25-0016


Current progress - read how we are doing on our project updates page

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