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Geriatrics (Basel). 2018 Jun 8;3(2). pii: E28. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics3020028.

The Role of Religion, Spirituality and/or Belief in Positive Ageing for Older Adults.

Author information

1
School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NZ, UK. jlm66@kent.ac.uk.
2
Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1SQ, UK. anna.dadswell@anglia.ac.uk.

Abstract

(1) Background: The concept of positive ageing is gaining recognition as an approach to better understand the lives of older adults throughout the world. Positive ageing encompasses the various ways in which older adults approach life challenges associated with ageing and how certain approaches allow older adults to age in a more positive way. This paper makes a contribution to the field by examining the role of religion, spirituality and/or belief in relation to positive ageing; (2) Methods: Qualitative focus groups with 14 older adults living in West London explored the role and importance religion, spirituality and/or belief held in their everyday lives and how this could be incorporated into the idea of positive ageing; (3) Results: Religion, spirituality and/or belief were found to play a number of roles in the everyday lives of the older adults, including being a source of strength, comfort and hope in difficult times and bringing about a sense of community and belonging; (4) Conclusion: This paper argues that religion, spirituality and/or belief should be included within positive ageing literature and be viewed as a type of support (amongst multiple others) that helps older adults to live positive lives despite the many challenges of ageing.

KEYWORDS:

belief; health; positive ageing; religion; spirituality; well-being

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