SUCCESSFUL AGEING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF POLISH SENIORS, PARTICIPANTS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS
Background: On the basis of the theoretical and empirical analyses published in the scientific literature, it can be stated that the concept of successful ageing presented in educational discourses is understood differently by authors and it is focused primarily on three issues related to 1/ spirituality, 2/ fulfillment of one’s own well-being, 3/ a sense of community. The article discusses research results aimed at comparing ways of understanding successful ageing in the scientific literature with ways of defining this term by seniors - participants of religious organizations.
Methods: The data concerns 59 senior citizens. The article attempts to answer the following questions: 1/ How do participants of religious organizations understand the concept of successful ageing?, 2/ To what extent do the ways of understanding this concept, which have been distinguished based on the analysis of empirical data, coincide with a typology created based on a literature review. The data has been collected by means of a questionnaire and has been analyzed by means of a statistical method – a cluster analysis.
Results: Participants of religious organizations perceive successful aging as a mosaic of integrity, religiousness and engagement understood as “life here and now”. Religiousness is associated with activity within the community. All three dimensions are considered by the respondents as important for the quality of life in old age.
Keywords: successful ageing; older people’s education; religious organizations
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