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Healthcare 2017, 5(4), 87; doi:10.3390/healthcare5040087

“To Work Just Like Anyone Else”—A Narrative from a Man Aging with Spinal Cord Injury

1
Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
2
Department of Health Sciences, Lunds University, Lund S-221 00, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing with Chronic Disease and Disability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [226 KB, uploaded 9 November 2017]

Abstract

People aging with spinal cord injury (SCI) develop medical problems commonly associated with the aging process at a younger age than the general population. However, research about how the life story changes and how meaning will be experienced in occupations is lacking. The aim was to describe and offer an explanation of how a man experienced meaning in everyday occupations while aging with an SCI. Four narrative interviews were performed over a four-year period, with a man in his fifties, who lived with SCI for 39 years. The narrative analysis generated an overall plot, named “To Work Just Like Anyone Else,” and gives a picture of his experiences, thoughts, and reflections about meaning in occupations, from when he became injured to the present, and in relation to his future. His life story is characterized by secondary health complications, and his experiences of negotiating with the aging body and making choices to continue working. Further, how occupational risk factors, e.g., imbalance, alienation, and deprivation, occur as a result of lack of rehabilitation and support from social systems is addressed. Future research should explore how rehabilitation and social systems can support people aging with SCI to experience meaning in everyday occupations and to have balance in everyday life. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; meaning; occupation; secondary health complications; spinal cord injury aging; meaning; occupation; secondary health complications; spinal cord injury
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lundström, U.; Lilja, M.; Isaksson, G. “To Work Just Like Anyone Else”—A Narrative from a Man Aging with Spinal Cord Injury. Healthcare 2017, 5, 87.

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