Rediscovering: The lived experience of women journeying toward aging

Carol M. Wiggs, Anne Young, Beth Mastel-Smith, Peggy Mancuso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aim of this hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry was to explore the lived experience of aging for late-midlife women via reflective journaling and a photo elicitation interview, and to demonstrate how the creation of a collage allows women to make meaning of the aging experience. Using van Manen's philosophical framework, four themes were discovered: Invisibility, Conflicted Self, Freedom, and Relationality. Invisibility was expressed by the women as disregard, not being seen by others, or overlooked in daily activities. Conflicted Self involved the conflict between the inner being and the outer physical body. Freedom related to the ability to let go of others' expectations and allow themselves to be the people they were in their own reality. Relationality was the interconnectedness the women felt with family, friends, and colleagues, and the changes in these relationships. The women's narratives and collages portrayed a holistic picture of aging, not confined to decline but rather a life of anticipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gerontological Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Gerontology


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