Title

Mapping Place and Experience for Older Adults Aging-in-Community

Start Time

20-10-2011 7:30 PM

End Time

20-10-2011 8:45 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this in-progress research is to study the person-place relationship underlying aging in place in order to 1) identify the spatial patterns of older adults’ community engagement, and to 2) explore the processes that lead to those patterns of engagement. Preliminary evidence directly links social and physical characteristics of a community to individuals’ health, but the nature of this relationship, especially in the context of aging in place – is poorly understood. This research addresses the gap by integrating measurable spatial patterns of community-based life with the rich observations and experiences of older adults’ engagement in occupations.

Methods: To achieve the aims outlined above, a mixed method approach is employed. Global positioning devices collect objective spatial data (location, frequency, duration) of participants’ place-based activity, generating data that are analyzed with geospatial information software (GIS) within and across participant cases. Interviewing and participant observation are used to understand the processes of navigating the physical, social, and cultural places and spaces in which community participation occurs. Participants include 15 community-dwelling older adults (70+) from a small city who have a range of functional abilities and living situations. The data generated from activity mapping and qualitative methods with these participants will be iteratively integrated, with time-space patterns serving to contextualize interview and observation data, and qualitative data explaining and expanding insights from spatial data. Grounded theory procedures will guide integration and analysis of the data throughout the study.

Results: Results from this mixed method study will include in-depth representation of participants’ experiences negotiating person-place changes through quotes, thematic development, and conceptual models. Findings from the spatial analyses will include visual representations of a standardized activity space, average distance from the home, sequence of routes driven/taken, locations/places frequented, and temporal features of spatial behavior. Results will be both mapped and generated in tabular format for within- and across-person analyses. Common features of patterns will be noted as well as personal and community features that appear to co-vary with those patterns. Examining this complex and active relationship will provide novel and relevant answers about what can and should be done to support ongoing occupational engagement for older adults at the community level.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. Introduce a novel methodology (GIS) for gathering, analyzing, and displaying time-spaceoccupation data
  2. Highlight the advantages and limitations of using GIS for OS research with multiple populations
  3. Discuss translation possibilities for geographical and qualitative insights about aging in place

References

Haak, M., Fange, A., Horstmann, V., & Iwarsson, S. (2008). Two dimensions of participation in very old age and their relations to home and neighborhood environments. AJOT, 62, 77-86.

Hirshorn, B. & Stewart, J. (2003). Geographic information systems in community-based gerontological research and practice. JAG, 22, 134-151.

Kroksmark, U., Mordell, K., Bendixen, H.J., Magnus, E., Jakobsen, K. & Alsaker, s. (2006). Time geographic method: Application to studying patterns of occupation in different contexts. JOS, 13, 11-16.

Oswald, F., Jopp, D., Rott, C., & Wahl, H.W. (2010) Is Aging in Place a Resource for or Risk to Life Satisfaction? Gerontologist. 2010 Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print].

Seamon, D. (2002). Physical comminglings: Body, habit and space transform into place. OTJR, 22(supplement), 42-51S.

Comments

Research paper

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Oct 20th, 7:30 PM Oct 20th, 8:45 PM

Mapping Place and Experience for Older Adults Aging-in-Community

Objective: The purpose of this in-progress research is to study the person-place relationship underlying aging in place in order to 1) identify the spatial patterns of older adults’ community engagement, and to 2) explore the processes that lead to those patterns of engagement. Preliminary evidence directly links social and physical characteristics of a community to individuals’ health, but the nature of this relationship, especially in the context of aging in place – is poorly understood. This research addresses the gap by integrating measurable spatial patterns of community-based life with the rich observations and experiences of older adults’ engagement in occupations.

Methods: To achieve the aims outlined above, a mixed method approach is employed. Global positioning devices collect objective spatial data (location, frequency, duration) of participants’ place-based activity, generating data that are analyzed with geospatial information software (GIS) within and across participant cases. Interviewing and participant observation are used to understand the processes of navigating the physical, social, and cultural places and spaces in which community participation occurs. Participants include 15 community-dwelling older adults (70+) from a small city who have a range of functional abilities and living situations. The data generated from activity mapping and qualitative methods with these participants will be iteratively integrated, with time-space patterns serving to contextualize interview and observation data, and qualitative data explaining and expanding insights from spatial data. Grounded theory procedures will guide integration and analysis of the data throughout the study.

Results: Results from this mixed method study will include in-depth representation of participants’ experiences negotiating person-place changes through quotes, thematic development, and conceptual models. Findings from the spatial analyses will include visual representations of a standardized activity space, average distance from the home, sequence of routes driven/taken, locations/places frequented, and temporal features of spatial behavior. Results will be both mapped and generated in tabular format for within- and across-person analyses. Common features of patterns will be noted as well as personal and community features that appear to co-vary with those patterns. Examining this complex and active relationship will provide novel and relevant answers about what can and should be done to support ongoing occupational engagement for older adults at the community level.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. Introduce a novel methodology (GIS) for gathering, analyzing, and displaying time-spaceoccupation data
  2. Highlight the advantages and limitations of using GIS for OS research with multiple populations
  3. Discuss translation possibilities for geographical and qualitative insights about aging in place