Hope and Aging: Hermeneutic Photography as Qualitative Evidence
Moore, Sharon L.
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AIMS: Aging successfully is a topic that has been targeted in recent years. Given the increased life expectancies developing countries, and the graying of the population, increased efforts are being directed at what it is that helps people age successfully. A key ingredient in this process is the role that hope plays in helping people live meaningful lives as they age. METHODS: A hermeneutic photography method was used to explore how older adults experience and live hope in their day to day lives. Older adults were asked to photograph how they lived and experienced hope and were then interviewed using the photographs as interview prompts. Phillipps (2000) suggests that photography is a form of expression that reveals not only who we are, but how the world appears through our eyes\" (Phillips, 2000, p. 44). It is this perspective of hope, that which reveals where the older person stands, how they experience it, and how it appears through their eyes, which will be described. RESULTS: An important discovery in this research was to observe that in every situation, the invitation to participate in this study generated reflection about what hope is and how it is lived. Themes reflecting “living hope” surfaced throughout the research process. A short audiovisual presentation “The Landscape of Hope” will be used to portray the results of the study. CONCLUSIONS: The camera can capture things at times that are not accessible to researchers such as the events of day to day life moments of joy, or grief or just greeting the day and how that is done. Although photography has not been frequently used in discussions of evidence based practice, the author makes a case for the use of photography as a means to capture the description of things or events through image, where at times words escape description.