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Vol. 7 No. 1: April issue

Old, disabled, successful? Transfigurations of aging with disabilities in Switzerland

  • Francesca Rickli
May 31, 2018


Aging – both the definition and the actual process of aging – has undergone fundamental local and global changes in the past decades. Various advances in technology and medicine increasingly allow senior citizens in Switzerland to ‘age successfully’ and have shifted societal expectations about what aging should include. This article looks at a group of senior citizens who encounter an increasing discrepancy between the demands fostered by the dominant discourse of ‘successful aging’ and the infrastructure made available to them. At the same time, seniors with disabilities are transfigured and come to stand for dependence, frailty, and decline because of this reconceptualization of aging. This article analyzes the cases of three senior citizens with disabilities which show the consequences of changed normative imaginaries, practices, and infrastructures on how senior citizens with disabilities experience their socialities