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  • veterans_paper_1_accepted_2020_01_27

    Rights statement: 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, ?, ?, pp ?-? 2020, © 2020 Cambridge University Press.

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    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/03/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Ageing and Society
Number of pages22
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date3/03/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

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.

Bibliographic note

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, ?, ?, pp ?-? 2020, © 2020 Cambridge University Press.