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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

  • Author / Creator
    Rossow-Kimball, Brenda A
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3PC2TH9M
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Goodwin, Donna (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Caine, Vera (Nursing)
    • Clandinin, Jean (Education)
    • Causgrove-Dunn, Janice (Physical Education and Recreation)