Narratives in research: Story as ‘showing’ the eminently ordinary experience of ageing

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To offer a perspective when research narratives about how ageing is lived in everyday life are the primary data.


A literature search explored the garnering of narratives about everyday life in advanced age in qualitative research. Narrative examples from the authors' research, and supervised student research, are drawn on to illustrate the experiences of ageing when going about an ordinary day.


Stories show the lived experience of ageing is both ordinary and complex. Notions revealed are: age as constructed, as assumed by others, as being engaged every day, and as living the day my way.


Understanding what it means to be older is in part shaped by which stories are told, who tells the stories and what sense is made of them. In gerontology research, ‘story telling’ can be a potent means of knowing what it means to be ‘older’ and of being worthy to self and others.

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