ERIC Number: ED316828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Daily Routine of the Oldest Old.
Barer, Barbara M.
Individuals who are beyond the age of 85 have to confront the decrements of aging that are commonly recognized. This study examined the daily routine of the oldest old through interviews. Subjects were asked about the logistics of their daily lives, what they liked best to do, what they didn't like to do, what made a day good for them, and what made a day bad. The results of the interviews indicated that time during the day had to be reallocated to accommodate the disproportionate number of hours necessarily devoted to personal care and household maintenance. These tasks could become the focus of the day, rather than incidental chores interspersed in the day's activities. In order to express and maintain a sense of self in the face of such radical change, individuals established behavioral routines with daily markers. There was a rhythm to the days and nights which may be orchestrated around meals, regulated by health care, governed by prayer, timed to specific television programs, or interrupted by time to rest. How one experienced the day was generally a reflection of mood. Optimism, faith, and the ability to maintain independence also contribute to the experience of a good day. Although socializing predominated among favorite things to do, solitary pursuits were equally noted. (Quotations from the interviews are included throughout the paper.) (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (42nd, Minneapolis, MN, November 17-21, 1989).