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Risk time framing for wellbeing in older people: a multi-national appreciative inquiry

Charlotte Laura Clarke (School of Health in Social Science and the Dean International of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, both at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Mike Titterton (HALE, Edinburgh, UK)
Jane Wilcockson (School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK) (Department of Healthcare, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Jane Reed (Department of Healthcare, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Wendy Moyle (Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Barbara Klein (Faculty of Social Work and Health, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt, Germany)
Sandra Marais (MRC South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa)
Glenda Cook (Department of Healthcare, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 8 January 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experience of older people and their sense of developing wellbeing, including consideration of the strategies they employ to respond to perceived risk.

Design/methodology/approach

An Appreciative Inquiry study was used, which collected data with 58 participants in focus group and individual interviews. Interviews focussed on ways in which older people in South Africa, Australia, Germany and the UK understand and seek to maintain wellbeing.

Findings

The changing time horizons of older people lead to perceptions of risk and concerns that embrace societal as well as individual concerns. Often, this leads to a sense of societal responsibility and desire for social change, which is frustrated by a perceived exclusion from participation in society.

Social implications

In mental health practice and education, it is imperative to embrace the shift from ageist concerns (with later life viewed as risky and tragic in itself) towards a greater sensitivity for older people’s resilience, the strategies they deploy to maintain this, and their desire for more control and respect for their potential to contribute to society.

Originality/value

Variation in time horizons leads to changes in temporal accounting, which may be under-utilised by society. Consequently, societies may not recognise and support the resilience of older people to the detriment of older people as individuals and to the wider society.

Keywords

Citation

Clarke, C.L., Titterton, M., Wilcockson, J., Reed, J., Moyle, W., Klein, B., Marais, S. and Cook, G. (2018), "Risk time framing for wellbeing in older people: a multi-national appreciative inquiry", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 44-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2016-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited