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Cross-National Perspectives on Ageing and Place: Implications for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities

Woolrych, Ryan, Sixsmith, Judith, Duvvuru, Jamuna, Portella, Adriana, Fang, Mei Lei, Menezes, Deborah, Henderson, James, Fisher, Jennifer ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9179-3485 and Lawthom, Rebecca (2022) Cross-National Perspectives on Ageing and Place: Implications for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. The Gerontologist, 62 (1). pp. 119-129. ISSN 0016-9013

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Abstract

Background and Objectives The age-friendly cities and communities (AFCC) agenda has led to a range of policy initiatives aimed at supporting ageing-in-place for older people. Whilst there is case study evidence of how people age across urban contexts, there has been little research exploring cross-national understandings of age-friendly places amongst older people. The objective of this paper is to identify the place experiences of older people living across cities and communities in India, Brazil and the UK and to discuss implications for the AFCC agenda. Research Design and Methods A total of 300 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with older people across nine cities and 27 communities in India, Brazil and the UK. The data was analysed using thematic analysis undertaken by each national team and then discussed and revised at collaborative workshops with researchers from each of the three country teams. Results The data captures the ways in which place is constructed from the perspective of older people drawing upon social, community and cultural dimensions of ageing across diverse urban environments. We explore how older people negotiate place in the context of their everyday life and identify the relational and interconnected ways in which place attachment, belonging and identity is constructed. Discussion and Implications Age-friendly interventions need to attend to the changing physical, social and cultural dimensions of ageing and place. Integrated place-making practices are required to support older people to age in the right place across rapidly transforming urban contexts globally.

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