Wray, Sharon (2011) ‘This is Your Life You Have to Live with the Memories’: Older Pakistani and Indian Migrant Women’s Reflections on Living with the Past. In: British Society of Gerontology 40th Annual Conference, 5th - 7th July 2011, Plymouth, UK. (Unpublished)

This presentation explores older (age 60+) migrant women's experiences of living with traumatic memories and the impact of these on their health and well-being. Memories collected across the life-course often inform our sense of who we are and what is important to us as we grow older. They are a storage place for emotions such as anger, hurt, disappointment, loss, nostalgia and happiness. Importantly, memories of traumatic events do not always dissipate with time. Instead, the feelings they generate such as injustice, anger, sorrow, and regret may influence happiness and fulfilment in later life. This presentation draws on the findings of a qualitative life-history research study, undertaken in the North of England that explored older Pakistani and Indian migrant women’s quality of life across the life course. It provides insight into the extent to which memories of life-altering events continue to influence the present. A main aim is to show the significant impact that memories have on older migrant women’s quality of life as they grow older. Additionally, to contribute to the development of an approach to the study of ageing that does not consign memories to the past but is able to theorise their impact on the present and the future.

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