Spirituality during Old-Age – Thematising, Identity and Doing of Spirituality and Its Relation to Construction of Old-Age

Jan Kanak, Jan Vane

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the text is to describe constructions of spirituality in the context of constructions of old age. From this description, possible implications for social work are drawn. THEORETICAL BASE: The starting theoretical point is, in general, a constructivist framework. We understand spirituality in the sense of subjective relations to transcendental consciousness. Old age is as well time-delineated (65 years and older) as a socially constructed section of life. The general framework of reasoning and analysis is the concept of person-in-situation, or personin- environment. METHODS: Within the qualitative pilot study, semi-structured interviews (n = 13) with seniors in the age groups from 65 to 89 years of age were used for data creation. The analyses were performed through the process of coding and categorisation of codes using the Atlas.ti programme, taking into account the recommendations of Miles and Huberman. OUTCOMES: Nodal points of spiritualities’ constructions are a lading factor influencing spiritual activities, spiritual coping, and ordinarily behaviour. Freedom and strictly guidelines given by Christian religiosity are seen as a contradictory and are also a central theme in constructions of spirituality. Old age and spirituality constructions are not interconnected. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: We consider the outcomes of the study relevant for those social workers who provide services to seniors. Above all, the discovery that spirituality does not have to be linked to the whole concept of old age and the perception of old age as such.

social work, spirituality, religiosity, old age, pilot study, person-in-environment, bricolage

p. 22-39

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