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An informal space supporting autonomy, choice and the maintenance of social networks:

Hagan, Robert (2019) An informal space supporting autonomy, choice and the maintenance of social networks:. In: British Society of Gerontology, 10 July 2019 - 12 July 2019, Liverpool, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Rural-dwelling older adults’ social networks shrink due to transitions in later life related to poor physical health, mobility difficulties and bereavements. Being rurally located adds an extra layer of disadvantage. Older adults may use community transport as a means both to facilitate important tasks, and also maintain friendships and other valued relationships. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 11 users of a rural transport community bus service in western Northern Ireland. The interviews identified that participants viewed the transport system as a highly valued conduit for helping escape isolation, maintaining autonomy, and providing an informal space for relationship building and accessing local news.

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