Mama still sparkles

Helen Q. Kivnick, Heidi L. Jernstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This case study is part of a larger, ongoing project that considers exemplars to explore successful aging among individuals who require some form of long-term care. The project departs from narrow, decontextualized operationalizations of successful aging to begin to develop holistic conceptualizations that involve the daily, multifaceted lives of elders in their families. The project also departs from the dominant misery perspective that emphasizes deficits, ill- ness, and decline in old age. Instead, it contributes to developing a resource perspective that seeks to maximize human adaptation, assets, and skills in later life. This project seeks to understand the dynamics and spirit of successful aging, as this process is illustrated by individual elders who are, in spite of severe disability and the need for ongoing services, identified by their colleagues as role mod- els, as exemplars of successful aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-164
Number of pages42
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Elder role models
  • Gerontology
  • Life cycle theory
  • Long-term care
  • Qualitative research


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