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IUAES 2013: Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds. 5-10 August 2013.

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Evolving humanity, emerging worlds

Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013

(LD29)

Age-friendly communities: from research to practice (IUAES Commission on Ageing and the Aged)

Location Alan Turing Building G109
Date and Start Time 08 Aug, 2013 at 09:00

Convenor

Philip Stafford (Indiana University) email
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Short Abstract

Age-friendly communities promote physical, social, mental and economic wellbeing for persons of all abilities, across the lifespan. Panelists will describe global research into the concept and community development practices that lead to the creation of age-friendly neighborhoods, towns and cities.

Long Abstract

Age-friendly communities are places that promote physical, social, mental and economic wellbeing for persons of all abilities, across the entire lifespan. These communities are the result of a place-based, comprehensive community development approach that frames aging as a community, rather than individual reality. Multiple panelists will include scholars who are conducting research on the impact of environmental factors on aging persons and practitioners in the growing, global age-friendly cities movement, including WHO certified cities.Presentations will represent a broad cross-cultural sample of age-friendly community projects, ranging from rural to highly urban. The panels will address barriers and solutions germane to local and national contexts with the goal of contributing to a "best practice" framework for development. Methods for promoting citizen participation in community development, conducting participatory action research, and mobilizing populations for change will be discussed in the papers offered.

Discussant: Jay Sokolovsky (University of South Florida)

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Age-friendly Communities: An Introduction

Author: Philip Stafford (Indiana University)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper provides an introduction to a broad series of papers addressing research and practice around the concept of age-friendly communities. It argues for the use of a person-in-environment orientation to community-based research and practice.

Long Abstract

This paper provides an introduction to a broad series of papers addressing research and practice around the concept of age-friendly communities. It argues for the use of a person-in-environment orientation to community-based research and practice. It will describe a matrix that provides a comprehensive outline for future research and practice.

Developing Age-Friendly Cities

Author: Chris Phillipson (School of Social Sciences)  email
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Short Abstract

None provided.

Long Abstract

This presentation will focus on outlining both the case for 'age-friendly communities' and the strategies which need to be adopted to promote strong ties within neighbourhoods. The paper will situate this debate within the context of the World Health Organisation's global network of age-friendly cities, debates about building sustainable cities, as well as arguments about achieving social justice and fairness within urban environments. The paper will give particular emphasis to the challenges as well as the benefits of cities, given a context of population ageing alongside the rapid changes arising from globalisation and migration. The discussion will provide a summary of the case for age friendly cities; assess what is known from research examining the planning of urban space; and assess the benefits as well as the barriers to achieving strong connections within communities. The paper will conclude by outlining the basis of a strategy for securing age-friendly communities, linking theory and practice in urban policy and planning. The paper will give particular emphasis to interdisciplinary work on age-friendly issues, drawing on a variety of perspectives within the social sciences.

Accessibility, participation, networking: impact of local environment on chances for independent living in old age

Author: Birgit Wolter (Institut für Gerontologische Forschung e.V.)  email
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Short Abstract

Presentation and discussion of findings on a large housing estate in Berlin as an age-friendly neighbourhood. Focussing on the activities of a network, that aims to enable elderly people to live independently in their own homes as long as possible, we will describe (1) problems and potentials of a large housing estate as a place to grow old and (2) the effects of networking in a neighbourhood. The implications will be compared with results from other investigations.

Long Abstract

How does the local environment influence the chances for an independent live in old age? How do older people manage their everyday life in disadvantaged areas? How can communities reach and support disadvantaged elderly?

To ease the housing shortage after World War II several council estates were built around the city of Berlin. One of these settlements, at the border of former West Berlin, was erected during the early seventies as a prototype of modern architecture. Many first-generation council tenants are still living here. Therefore the proportion of elderly tenants (65+) is above average, among them an increasing number of elderly migrants. In 2003 a self-governed network was founded by local social institutions, housing societies, services for elderly care, doctors, schools, and trades people. The goal of the network is to help elderly tenants stay in their own flats as long as they wish to and to help them manage their everyday lives in spite of increasing health problems. Based on the World Health Organization's definition of health we investigated (1) the effects of the network's activities and (2) the impact of the urban environment of a large housing estate on independent, healthy ageing.

The talk will present the findings of this research project in comparison with others and discuss their implications on age-friendliness of a neighbourhood.

Promoting age-friendly approaches at a city and neighbourhoods level: the 'Valuing Older People' Programme, Manchester

Author: Paul McGarry (Manchester City Council)  email
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Short Abstract

None provided.

Long Abstract

Situated within the context of Manchester, the first UK city to be accepted into the World Health Organisation's network of age-friendly cities, this presentation will address the role of local government in promoting age-friendly approaches at a city and neighbourhoods level.

Drawing specifically on the experience of Manchester's 'Valuing Older People' programme, the paper will consider the types of capacities and expertise needed to design and develop such programmes. In addition the paper will consider the constraints placed on these programmes, particularly in the age of austerity.

Describing the VOP citizen engagement programme, the paper will set out both the benefits and challenges associated with this work, and consider the range of local programmes aimed at promoting the social inclusion of older people.

Developing an Age-Friendly Research and Evaluation Framework - the Manchester perspective

Author: Sophie Handler (University of Manchester)  email
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Short Abstract

None provided.

Long Abstract

This paper will explore the different ways in which research and evaluation frameworks can support the development of age-friendly approaches at local level. The presentation will outline the design of Manchester's own research and evaluation framework and consider the process of building and testing it out within a WHO-accredited city.

In particular the paper will assess the multiple roles that the framework is able to take on: for broadening engagement with age-friendly concepts (through stakeholder participation); as a leverage tool for cities to build and innovate age-friendly programmes (locally and nationally) and as a critically reflective intervention in current policy and debate around age-friendly concepts.

In addition the paper will consider the way in which the framework is able to generate new links between different professions and disciplines (such as architecture and planning) and will assess the degree to which new links such as these contribute to our understanding of both age-friendly concepts and practice.

Building Advocates for Livable Communities: Across Ages; Across Abilities

Author: Sharon Baggett (University of Indianapolis)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper reviews the history of community advocacy,, the livable communities/communities for a lifetime movement, and describes a training curriculum designed to build a cadre of older adults and persons with disabilities to be effective advocates for communities for a lifetime.

Long Abstract

Support for developing "livable communities for all," "lifelong communities," "communities for a lifetime," "communities for all ages," or "age-friendly communities" has grown rapidly over the last decade, both in the U.S. and across the globe. Driven by the demographic changes of global aging, much of this support has focused on assisting communities to plan effectively, through physical design of neighborhoods, housing, transit, and enhanced services, for successful aging in place, but also for meeting the needs of residents of all ages without fostering competition between them. Engaging older adults and persons with disabilities in community and neighborhood planning and development efforts is essential if the age-friendly cities or communities for a lifetime goals are to be achieved. Yet, there are few older adults and persons with disabilities trained to act as effective advocates for the broad range of livability issues involved and to advocate for these issues within the context of creating communities and neighborhoods that work for all ages and abilities. That is, we must have advocates who can move beyond single issue advocacy, and who understand the many aspects of livable communities for all. This paper reviews the history of advocacy in addressing urban and community issues, the growth of urban planning as a tool for social change, the livable communities/communities for a lifetime movement, and describes a training curriculum designed to build a cadre of older adults and persons with disabilities to be effective advocates for communities for a lifetime.

Public places, community, and the physical and mental health of children and elders

Author: Suzanne Lennard (International Making Cities Livable Council)  email
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Short Abstract

Physical health depends on a robust social immune system - networks of friends and concerned others. Face-to-face interaction in public places facilitates the development of a social immune system. What is required to ensure a healthy urban public realm, especially important for children and elders?

Long Abstract

Human beings are social creatures. The quality and quantity of our social interaction strongly influence physical and mental health (House). With insufficient, inadequate or negative social interaction we languish and sicken. This is particularly true for children and older people. Social skills learned by children and youth shape their ability to develop a robust "social immune system" (Nestmann & Hurrelmann) - networks of friends and concerned others -- that helps maintain health and well-being throughout life, and strengthens resilience in avoiding dysfunctional social behavior. For elders, diminishing circles of friends and peers can lead to isolation, depression, victimization, physical illness and premature death (Klinenberg) if opportunities for community-in-place are not available.

In sprawling suburbs and dangerous inner city neighborhoods (Earls) public places, streets and squares discourage positive face-to-face interaction. It is essential to reshape suburbs and inner city neighborhoods so that they provide settings that facilitate positive face-to-face social interaction (Leyden). This paper will discuss how compact human scale urban fabric, mixed use buildings with residential over shops, wide sidewalks, traffic free squares and traffic calmed streets, farmers markets and community festivals create public spaces that generate social interaction, community and civic engagement (Crowhurst Lennard & Lennard) - essential ingredients in developing a healthy "social immune system".

Creating a Ibasho

Author: Emi Kiyota (Ibasho)  email
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Short Abstract

This session proposes how we as society need to stop designing elder care systems and buildings where aging is treated like a disease and start creating places that reinforce our traditions and positive societal expectations.

Long Abstract

A belief that institutional care is the most efficient way to care for elders with physical or cognitive disabilities has led to an overreliance on nursing-home care. This model has proved to be financially costly and psychologically alienating, marginalizing elders from the rest of the society. However, the design community hasn't challenged this preconceived notion, so it continues to design in ways that reinforce our negative social expectations of elders.

As the population of elders begins to grow rapidly globally, designers, policy makers, and service providers need to ask: Do we just want to create marginally better institutions for elders, or do we want to seek alternative ways to enable elders to live as valued and valuable members of their communities? In other words, do we want to marginalize our elders and hide them out of our sight or do we want to integrate them into their communities?

"Ibasho" is a Japanese word that means "a place where one can feel at home, and be oneself." The Ibasho concept involves creating integrating elder care functions into the web of community, involving both care professionals and non-professionals, such as family, friends, and community members, in providing care and the social interactions that provide meaning to life, and enabling elders to maintain social capital with their friends, neighbors, and family members.

To achieve this Ibasho concept, physical environment plays an important role. This session will discuss about the Ibasho concept and its design applications followed by case studies that applied this concept.

The role of media and marketing in imagining, developing and supporting age-friendly communities

Author: Maria Vesperi (New College of Florida)  email
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Short Abstract

Broad acceptance of “age-friendly communities” as socially desirable places rests on complex, culturally-variable ideas and values. This paper will trace the effectiveness of media and marketing efforts to engage public imaginations in the age-friendly movement.

Long Abstract

Broad acceptance of "age-friendly communities" as socially desirable places must rest on complex, culturally-variable ideas about aging, interdependence, and intergenerational responsibility across the life course. Whether original or retro-fitted, such communities reflect the public policies, economic structures, and local values that enable them to develop and thrive. Following Andreas Huyssen's (2008) discussion of "urban imaginaries" and how citizens' perceptions inform and inspire local action and promote transnational awareness, translation, and expansion, this paper will trace the effectiveness of media and marketing efforts to engage public imaginations in the age-friendly community movement. Taking into account a range of social-historical and political-economic contexts, visual and text-based examples drawn primarily from North America will be used to identify key values that enable the age-friendly concept to enter local dialogues about what community can and should mean.

Discussant

Author: Jay Sokolovsky (University of S. Florida St. Petersburg)  email
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Short Abstract

Discussant for Papers

Long Abstract

Discussant for Papers

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Sponsors

Wenner-Gren Visit Manchester ASA RAI Manchester University