Time use and life trajectories of elder people
of sociology and social research University of Trento Trento, Italy
sociology and social research University of sociology Trento, italy
social research Regional istitute of study and social research trento, italy
By 1995, 70 million people over the age of 60 have been living in the Union, almost 20% of total population. Till 2020, this figure will rise to 25%; the number of people 80 years old and older will more than double. But we do not know enough about how elder people manage their time or how they organize their everyday life. The aim of this paper is to discuss on how old people actually spend their total time basing on a longitudinal study with older people from age 66 to 86 who life independently.
In discussing elders' time use, some authors suggest three different segments of the total time budgets: 1. personal care, 2. productive activities, and 3. leisure activities. People spend their time for the personal care, such as personal hygiene, eating, and sleeping. Productive activities are mainly characterized by their outputs and which can be delegated to a third person without losing value (for example paid work or voluntary work, home maintenance or housekeeping). In later life, leisure activities have become an important theme since the older age group has a lot of available free time. Leisure activities are characterized by such values as personal amusement, relaxation, self-fulfilment and socialization. Starting from these considerations, firstly we will show the importance to rethink the time segmentation illustrated upon adding to the remembrance activities. And secondly, we will focus on four different strategies used by the elders to divide their time and, consequently, we will propose four trajectories that elders' everyday life could follow: the trajectory based on care activities, the trajectory based on productive activities (paid or not paid), the trajectory based on remembrance activities, and the trajectory based on leisure activities finalized to personal enlarge.