Title

Occupation Toward the end of Life: Women's creation and transmission of personal legacy

Presenter Information

Elizabeth Hunter

Start Time

7-10-2006 3:00 PM

End Time

7-10-2006 4:05 PM

Abstract

This study explores the occupation of legacy creation and transmission as a component of the aging experience among women. Against a backdrop of prior focus on transmission of material possessions as the primary form of legacy, the concept is critically examined in developing an expanded, theoretically and empirically grounded perspective. Legacy creation emerges as an appropriate occupation for those beginning to confront their mortality. In-depth interviews with thirty-eight women, ranging in age from 31-94 years and representing diverse marital, parental and heath statuses reveal multiple dimensions of leaving in terms of content, creation and transmission. Through the stories of the participants in this study, legacy, emerges as a means of passing on the essence of one’s self, in particular one’s values and beliefs. Through personal action and concrete artifacts that may result, legacy is created and passed along. Legacy provides an avenues for continuity throughout the life courses as it is transmitted from the past, develop dint he present and given to the future. The desire to leave a legacy is manifest in many different ways dependent on the individual and their culture. While the idea of legacy is often couched in terms of material possessions, it appears that passing on values and beliefs is more important to older adults. The process of transmitting legacies of values and beliefs has notable implications for personal well-being and family relations as individuals age or face life threatening illness.

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Oct 7th, 3:00 PM Oct 7th, 4:05 PM

Occupation Toward the end of Life: Women's creation and transmission of personal legacy

This study explores the occupation of legacy creation and transmission as a component of the aging experience among women. Against a backdrop of prior focus on transmission of material possessions as the primary form of legacy, the concept is critically examined in developing an expanded, theoretically and empirically grounded perspective. Legacy creation emerges as an appropriate occupation for those beginning to confront their mortality. In-depth interviews with thirty-eight women, ranging in age from 31-94 years and representing diverse marital, parental and heath statuses reveal multiple dimensions of leaving in terms of content, creation and transmission. Through the stories of the participants in this study, legacy, emerges as a means of passing on the essence of one’s self, in particular one’s values and beliefs. Through personal action and concrete artifacts that may result, legacy is created and passed along. Legacy provides an avenues for continuity throughout the life courses as it is transmitted from the past, develop dint he present and given to the future. The desire to leave a legacy is manifest in many different ways dependent on the individual and their culture. While the idea of legacy is often couched in terms of material possessions, it appears that passing on values and beliefs is more important to older adults. The process of transmitting legacies of values and beliefs has notable implications for personal well-being and family relations as individuals age or face life threatening illness.