The purpose of this study was to investigate how very old persons-a representative sample of 129 noninstitutionalized 85-year-old Swedish persons with different patterns of adjustment-may live and experience daily life. The analysis of in-depth interviews showed that better adjusted participants enjoyed their freedom as retirees to form daily life at their own choosing. Within patterns of poorer adjustment, daily life was more influenced by other conditions than by the individual's preferences. It was common to construct personal time-tables for keeping up self-control and regardless of the level of activity, most participants thought that time passed quickly. It is argued that older persons' everyday activities, experiences and wishes should be thoroughly investigated and adjusted to when intervention programs for the elderly are planned.

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