Just another day”: The lived experience of being a hundred years old for ten New Zealanders.
The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the experiences of extended longevity as perceived by centenarians. Centenarians (people over 100 years of age) are the fastest growing group of the ageing population in developed countries. Ten centenarians aged between 100 and 106 years, living in the Lower North Island of New Zealand, participated in the study. The biographical narrative interpretive method of inquiry guided data collection through face-to-face interviews, and thematic analysis was subsequently undertaken. Four themes were identified: (a) ‘becoming a centenarian: ‘Just another day’; (b) ‘growing up in a privileged environment’ that revealed four sub-themes: ‘having freedom and choice’, ‘being loved and nurtured’, ‘living healthy lifestyles’ and having ‘good education prospects’; (c) ‘unique opportunities in adult life’; and (d) ‘positive ageing and celebration of longevity’. The centenarians spoke nonchalantly about their experience of turning 100 and positive personalities were prominent features of the participants, who all expressed a sense of acceptance and satisfaction with life and contentment with living in the present, a feature throughout their lives that was ongoing and at an intergenerational level. This study has provided further insights into the existing literature on longevity and through the narratives of the centenarians has demonstrated the value of Erikson’s psycho-social stages of development and Tornstam’s theory of gerotranscendence when considering positive ageing.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Ratan, A. and de Vries, K. (2019) Just another day”: The lived experience of being a hundred years old for ten New Zealanders. Ageing & Society,
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes