Icons / Login Created with Sketch.
Icons / User Created with Sketch.

Living beyond expectations: How older women demonstrate successful and healthy ageing


Centenarians are a “model of ageing well”, having lived long and delayed the onset of disease and disability until much later in life.  With increasing longevity, larger numbers of people will live to 100. However, little is known about the experiences of people at this extreme old age, as few studies have included very old people and most do not have data from earlier life to put these late life experiences into a life course context.  Current participants of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health include an elite group of over 1,400 women who are already past their mid-90sm and who are likely to live to 100. In-depth interviews with a sample of these women will provide a rare opportunity to gain insights into the experience of extreme old age, and to contrast their current and retrospective views with the trajectories and circumstances presented by the quantitative and qualitative data collected by ALSWH since 1996, when the women were in their 70s.  The interviews will be framed by the new WHO healthy ageing framework, and will focus on women's ability to do the things they want to do, and the balance between intrinsic capacity and functional support.  Interviews with women born 1946-51 will provide insight into the prospects for healthy ageing for women in this cohort.