Staff employed at University of Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen

Keeping disease at arm's length: how older Danish people distance disease through active ageing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Many older people live with a range of chronic diseases. However, these diseases
do not necessarily impede an active lifestyle. In this article the author analyses the relation between the active ageing discourse and the way older people at two Danish activity centres handle disease. How does active ageing change everyday life with chronic disease, and how do older people combine an active life with a range of chronic diseases? The participants in the study use activities to keep their diseases at arm’s length, and this distancing of disease at the same time enables them to engage in social and physical activities at the activity centre. In this way, keeping disease at arm’s length is analysed as an ambiguous health strategy. The article shows the importance of looking into how active ageing is practised, as active ageing seems to work well in the everyday life of the older people by not giving emphasis to disease. The article is based on ethnographic fieldwork and uses vignettes of four participants to show how they each keep diseases at arm’s length.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing & Society
Volume35
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1364-1383
Number of pages20
ISSN0144-686X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

ID: 44368611