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Research Seminar: Negotiating neighbourhood change in later life: Acts of a...

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University of Essex - Southend Campus

Room TF.0.34

36 Queens Road

Southend-on-Sea

SS1 1BF

United Kingdom

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Speaker:

Aaron Wyllie
University of Essex, School of Health and Social Care

Abstract:
Attachment to place and the feeling of belonging within a neighbourhood or community is known to contribute significantly to wellbeing in later life. Much existing research has focused on identifying aspects of the neighbourhood environment which promote place attachment in later life, yet little attention has been given to the role that neighbourhood change processes, such as gentrification and demographic transformation, have in shaping the experiences of community-dwelling older adults. Understanding how older adults perceive, experience and respond to neighbourhood change is vital for achieving the United Nations vision of an ‘Age Friendly World’ in which older citizens remain engaged, visible and valued members of our communities. This presentation will provide some preliminary insights on this topic, drawing on findings from a study involving multiple in-depth interviews with eleven older adults living in a single municipality of Melbourne, Australia. With an average length of residence of nineteen years, these older adults had lived through a period of rapid gentrification and socio-demographic transformation. For many participants, these neighbourhood change processes disrupted established routines, social networks, and activities, contributing to a sense of disconnection and withdrawal from the community they once knew. A second subset of participants noted similar neighbourhood changes but were able to adapt through forming new social networks and cultivating different spaces of belonging. Several individual and structural factors were found to influence older adults’ responses to neighbourhood change, powerfully shaping their later life experiences. Practice and policy recommendations emerging from this study will be presented, each focused on promoting more community-oriented approaches to neighbourhood development.

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Date and Time

Location

University of Essex - Southend Campus

Room TF.0.34

36 Queens Road

Southend-on-Sea

SS1 1BF

United Kingdom

View Map

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