Skip to main content Accessibility help

‘Just live for today’. Living, caring, ageing and dying



There is an assumption in western societies that death in old age is not only ‘natural’ but also ‘easy’. It is often characterised as death which occurs at the end of life with goals complete. By contrast death in youth is a traumatic and untimely end. This paper draws on interviews with people over the age of 75 to explore the nature of attitudes to death in old age. It focuses on the issues raised by elderly people themselves when given the opportunity to talk about death and dying. In so doing, attitudes to death and dying are separated into ‘death of self’ and ‘death of other’. Each of these categories is then divided thematically according to the issues raised by respondents.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Glennys Howarth. Department of Behavioural Sciences, The University of Sydney, PO Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia. email
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title

 PDF (181 KB)
181 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed