The purpose of the present study was to explore the experiences of aging in adults aged from 40 to 80 years, living in Seoul, Korea, and how these experiences differ according to age. The phenomenological analysis method was used to identify major categories of experience. Five common categories were identified: bodily change; downward spiral of the perspective about aging; acceptance of limitation and boundaries with aging; feelings of nostalgia and hope and; sustaining life through harmony. Results showed that as South Korean adults grew older they began to recognize changes in their bodies. In their 60s, functional changes were explicit and individuals finally admitted that they were getting older. Disease was a part of life, which was inseparable from their daily lives, and death was accepted as a natural event. As South Korean adults grew older, they felt a strong responsibility for their children and tried to live an honest and respectable life. This was a common perception held regarding aging. Thus they pursued a traditional family-oriented life. Even though aging was something that many wished to avoid, it was accepted as part of life. As they experienced the agony of life, they began to accept the realities of living, and wished for their family's happiness and a better future. The present study aimed to increase understanding of the aging experience and to provide a foundation for future research to develop effective health promotion interventions for this population.
- Lived experience