Resilience and vision impairment in older people

Thetford, C., Bennett, K. M., Hodge, S., Knox, P. C. and Robinson, J. (2015) Resilience and vision impairment in older people. Journal of Aging Studies, 35, pp. 37-48. (doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2015.07.007) (PMID:26568213)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Some people fare better than others when faced with adversity; they appear to be more ‘resilient’. This article explores the concept of resilience in the context of vision impairment using two linked sets of narrative interview data from 2007 to 2010. Three case studies were analysed in detail using a framework approach based upon a social–ecological model of resilience and vision impairment. Within the model a range of assets and resources are identified which influence an individual's capacity for resilience. A set of criteria were used to establish the extent to which each individual appeared to be resilient at each point in time. Analysis revealed that it is not merely the presence or absence of individual, social, and community resources – but how these resources interact with each other – that influences resilience and can create a risk to wellbeing. To possess only some of these resources is not sufficient; there is a co-dependency between these resources which requires the presence of other resources for resilience to be achieved. Resilience is not a fixed state; individuals can become more or less resilient as their circumstances and resources change over time. We suggest that the concept of resilience has much to offer the field of vision impairment as it allows the identification of enablers as well as areas of barriers to improving people's health and wellbeing and suggests further opportunities for service providers to engage with clients, even those who appear to be supported, as people's social, economic and emotional landscapes continue to change over time, rather than identifying deficit.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Professor Jude
Authors: Thetford, C., Bennett, K. M., Hodge, S., Knox, P. C., and Robinson, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Aging Studies
ISSN (Online):1879-193X
Published Online:06 August 2015

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record