Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (940.15 kB)

An Analysis of the Quality of Life of Older Women in New Zealand 2001, "I'm Still Me Inside"

Download (940.15 kB)
posted on 2021-11-03, 20:56 authored by Munro, Isobel

This study explores the quality of life for one hundred and seventy-five older women from many parts of New Zealand, who are no longer in full-time paid employment. The women were self-selected through a process of social networking and have responded to a questionnaire on the quality of their life. Sixteen of the women living in the greater Wellington area were interviewed. Demographics such as age, marital status, income and education were obtained. The project examines some of the variables and their interactions, which contribute to the quality of life for older women. These are income, housing, health, social connectedness and life cycle events within the context of individual and societal attitudes. The respondents have been grouped in younger and older cohorts, those women under or over 75. The study records their subjective perceptions of material wellbeing and health together with their thoughts and feelings about this stage of their life. The  women's awareness of being valued, and by whom they were valued made a significant contribution to the quality of their life, as did a sense of belonging and being useful in the locus of family and community. Good health coexisted with illness and disability, but costs associated with healthcare were of concern. They took pride in the skill of 'making do', a legacy of war and depression. Respondents were clear that a positive attitude was necessary for coping with older age and that owning your own home contributed to their feeling secure. For most participants New Zealand Superannuation was their main source of income. While there was considerable diversity in their situations, relating to their previous life history, this study indicates that most of the older women felt comfortable with their life, despite some perceptions of 'ageism' in the community. They expressed concern for others rather than themselves.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Women's Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education Studies


Laurie, Alison; Hyman, Prue