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A Narrative Inquiry into the Lives of Older Adults Labelled with Intellectual Disabilities: The Significance of Place as a Means to Story Retirement Open Access


Other title
narrative inquiry
intellectual disability
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Rossow-Kimball, Brenda A
Supervisor and department
Goodwin, Donna (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Causgrove-Dunn, Janice (Physical Education and Recreation)
Caine, Vera (Nursing)
Clandinin, Jean (Education)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This narrative inquiry engaged the author in the storied lives of three older gentlemen labelled with intellectual disabilities (the inquirers) as they lived out a story of retirement in their community in a mid-sized city in Western Canada. The author walked alongside the inquirers for nearly a year in search of coherence in their shared experiences. Although the grand narrative suggests that these gentlemen are likely to experience a lonely, isolated, and inactive retirement, it is with confidence and pride that they live a competing story in which they are engaged with their community; they enjoy spending time with new friends, participating in new activities, and venturing into new territory. Seemingly, place proved to be of most significance to the inquirers as they lived out their stories of retirement. However, their storied past drives their current and future retirement prospects as they search to relive moments which provide meaning, structure, and familiarity, specifically seeking out opportunities to serve others in their community at church and the local senior centre, for example. In light of their success, the author suggests that perhaps a lack of structured retirement programming can actually enhance opportunities for growth as older adults labelled with intellectual disabilities are pushed to live a self-determined retirement as they seek out meaningful opportunities for success. Throughout the paper, the author reflects on her own experiences on the professional knowledge landscape as she questions her positioning as a researcher, professor, student, support person, advocate, and friend. During her time walking alongside the inquirers in the three-dimensional space, she became awakened to/was reminded of/experienced tensions in relation to the grand narrative surrounding her own life and that of her inquirers. She relives/retells personal stories in an attempt to find coherence and live in an educative way amongst the tensions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
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Filename: Rossow-Kimball_Brenda_Winter 2014.pdf
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Status message: File header gives version as 1.4, but catalog dictionary gives version as 1.3
File title: BRK PhDDiss Jan 7 2014
File author: Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Page count: 220
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