A Critical Perspective: Towards a Broader Understanding of ‘Active Ageing’

Kim Boudiny, Dimitri Mortelmans


The current paper explains the origin of the ‘active ageing’-discourse and addresses the diverging definitions that have been used since its introduction. Generally speaking, a differentiation is made between a narrow vision on ‘active ageing’ - focusing on ‘traditional’ activities such as labour and care - and a broad perspective. The hazards of applying a narrow point of view are addressed, as such an approach is primarily concerned with the youngest old and the distinction between active and passive behaviours is ambiguous. Research and policy implications of broadening the ‘active ageing’-discourse are addressed.

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older adults; 'active ageing'; adaptation

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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology