Title

Factors Considered by Urban and Rural Well Elders in Relocation Decisions: The Importance of Occupations

Presenter Information

Catherine Sullivan

Start Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 1:45 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe the factors well elderly take into account when making relocation decisions. The occupational science perspective was used as a framework for our research. Interviews were conducted with 10 seniors (5 rural and 5 urban) who were thinking of relocating or had recently relocated to another home – not including long-term care. The interview transcripts were analyzed using the Framework Analysis method. Most themes were similar for urban and rural seniors. All participants were aware of age-related changes in function and tended to focus on physical abilities. This led them to seek homes that had accessibility features to accommodate possible physical losses. Both groups were looking to downsize to a smaller, easier to maintain, residence. Downsizing allowed them to substitute valued occupations for occupations that had become too burdensome. Seniors in both groups wished to move closer to children to have more opportunities to engage in valued roles, but also to be close to assistance, should they need it. All participants still wanted to remain independent. They planned on maintaining valued occupations as well as starting new occupations. Most participants, but especially rural seniors, expressed a desire to be in an environment supportive of health promoting occupations such as walking and gardening. Some of the themes that were found with rural but not urban seniors were the desire to move closer to medical facilities and the concern over the loss of valued roles. Access to amenities was mentioned by both groups but had different meanings. For urban seniors it focused on ease of access, for rural seniors it meant gaining access to resources they did not have available. Seniors in both groups gave very little thought to what would happen to their occupational participation should they no longer drive. The general tone was one of optimism about the move. Those results suggest that the occupational science perspective brings a unique contribution to the study of relocation. Occupational therapists in non-traditional practice could use that information in relocation planning consultation, to target factors typically overlooked by seniors in relocation decisions.

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Oct 26th, 11:45 AM Oct 26th, 1:45 PM

Factors Considered by Urban and Rural Well Elders in Relocation Decisions: The Importance of Occupations

The purpose of this paper is to describe the factors well elderly take into account when making relocation decisions. The occupational science perspective was used as a framework for our research. Interviews were conducted with 10 seniors (5 rural and 5 urban) who were thinking of relocating or had recently relocated to another home – not including long-term care. The interview transcripts were analyzed using the Framework Analysis method. Most themes were similar for urban and rural seniors. All participants were aware of age-related changes in function and tended to focus on physical abilities. This led them to seek homes that had accessibility features to accommodate possible physical losses. Both groups were looking to downsize to a smaller, easier to maintain, residence. Downsizing allowed them to substitute valued occupations for occupations that had become too burdensome. Seniors in both groups wished to move closer to children to have more opportunities to engage in valued roles, but also to be close to assistance, should they need it. All participants still wanted to remain independent. They planned on maintaining valued occupations as well as starting new occupations. Most participants, but especially rural seniors, expressed a desire to be in an environment supportive of health promoting occupations such as walking and gardening. Some of the themes that were found with rural but not urban seniors were the desire to move closer to medical facilities and the concern over the loss of valued roles. Access to amenities was mentioned by both groups but had different meanings. For urban seniors it focused on ease of access, for rural seniors it meant gaining access to resources they did not have available. Seniors in both groups gave very little thought to what would happen to their occupational participation should they no longer drive. The general tone was one of optimism about the move. Those results suggest that the occupational science perspective brings a unique contribution to the study of relocation. Occupational therapists in non-traditional practice could use that information in relocation planning consultation, to target factors typically overlooked by seniors in relocation decisions.