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McKenzie-Smith, S. (1992). A psychoanalytical observational study of the elderly. Free Associations, 3(3):355-390.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(3):355-390

A psychoanalytical observational study of the elderly

Savi McKenzie-Smith


When Freud as one of the pioneers of psychoanalysis continually worked on discovering psychodynamic concepts, he had probably not given a thought to retirement. As we know he worked to the end of his life. Over a century later retirement is a common factor. Retirement can now be a promising period of one's lifetime, because many people can enjoy good physical health well into their eighties. Furthermore, it can be a productive time for retired people, many of whom can enjoy interests which they could not indulge during their working days due to lack of time. However, this is not alway so, for several reasons, even though amenities might be available. Pincus (1981) says: To understand why a good, happy and fulfilled old age is achieved by some and not by others, old age must be seen not in isolation or generalised terms but as part of an individual's lifecycle. Pincus wrote this when she was almost 83 years old.

Anxieties about the need to cater for a ‘granny population’ are expressed in political, social, economical, medical and psychological spheres.

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