70 Candles: Women Thriving in the Eighth Decade

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This paper describes the first steps in a larger project aimed to discover the ways in which women thrive in their eighth decade. How do they define themselves? What brings them joy? I have been particularly interested in the experiences of career women, now 70, the first generation of professional women who have defined themselves by their work and have now passed the traditional age of retirement. To this end, a blog 70candles.com was established and two conversation groups and an interview with two sisters were conducted. I begin this paper with a review of pertinent literature and proceed to a description and thematic analysis of the blog, conversation groups, and informal interview. For richness and depth, I use the actual words of the participants as much as possible, including my own personal story as a 70-year-old professional woman. I end with a discussion of women thriving in the eighth decade and conclude that (1) “aging” and “old” need to be re-conceptualized and (2) there is enormous power in 70 year-old women coming together to share their stories.


women, aging, positive aging


Health/Wellness, Well-Being/Flourishing


Book/Book Proposal

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Date Posted: 19 December 2014