A point of connection? : Wellbeing, the veteran identity and older adults

Brewster, Liz and McWade, Brigit and Clark, Samuel J. A. (2021) A point of connection? : Wellbeing, the veteran identity and older adults. Ageing and Society, 41 (9). pp. 1984-2005. ISSN 0144-686X

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Maintaining good wellbeing in older age is seen to have a positive effect on health, including cognitive and physiological functioning. This paper explores experiences of wellbeing in a particular older adult community: those who have served in the military. It aims to identify the specific challenges that ex-service personnel may have, reporting findings from a qualitative study focused on how older veterans told stories of military service and what these stories revealed about wellbeing. We used a qualitative approach; data are drawn from 30 individual interviews, and from engagement with veterans in workshops. Analysis was conducted using a data-driven constant comparison approach. Three themes are presented: how loneliness affects older adult veterans; how they draw on fictive kinship; and the role of military visual culture. Although participants had diverse experiences of military service, they felt that being a veteran connected them to a community that went beyond association with specific experiences. Using narratives of military experience to connect, both in telling stories and by stories being listened to, was vital. As veterans, older adults were able to access each other as a resource for listening and sharing. However, it was also exclusionary: civilians, because they lacked military service experience, could not empathise and be used as a resource.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ageing and Society
Additional Information:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/point-of-connection-wellbeing-the-veteran-identity-and-older-adults/0850DE24B174E637D35DD51256B736CD The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Ageing and Society, 41, 9, pp 1984-2005, 2021, © 2020 Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? wellbeingmilitary veteranssocial supporthealth(social science)geriatrics and gerontologypublic health, environmental and occupational health ??
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Deposited On:
03 Apr 2020 11:35
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 20:29