Active ageing in vital villages
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Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies. Active ageing in vital villages. Frans Thissen. Outline. My contribution: Opinions about active ageing and vital villages Concepts about: Ageing Villages Diversity of older people

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Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies

Active ageing in vital villages

Frans Thissen


Outline

My contribution:

  • Opinions about active ageing and vital villages

  • Concepts about:

    • Ageing

    • Villages

  • Diversity of older people

  • Relevant characteristics of villages

  • Possible contributions of older inhabitants

Your contribution:

  • Your personal opinion

  • Diversity of older people in your country

  • Relevant characteristics of villages in your country

  • Possible contributions of older inhabitants in your country

Active ageing in Vital villages


Human Geographer

Relation Man - Environment

Main topics

Villages

Older people

Research projects about older people

The experience of being old myself

Young Adults have not ‘been there’.

‘Being old’ creates the potential of empathy, recognition, sharing and understanding.

.

Introduction

Active ageing in Vital villages


Growing Old: Loss

Loss of health (biological)

Loss of social roles (social-cultural)

Loss of social capital (functional social resources)

Active ageing

The ability to cope with loss

Older people as active agents

Active ageing

Active ageing in Vital villages


Vital villages

Wulvergem

Loil

Active ageing in Vital villages

5


What are your personal opinions about:

Active ageing?

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Vital villages?

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Active ageing in Vital villages


Concepts

  • Vulnerability

  • Environment (village)

    • Demanding (environmental stress)

    • Supporting (community care)

  • Person-environment fit of older people

  • Social vitality of villages

Active ageing in Vital villages


Vulnerability (1)

  • Definition: “aggregate of all factors that negatively affect independent functioning in daily life”

  • Balance between burden vs. bearing capacity

  • Multidimensional concept with cumulative effects

Active ageing in Vital villages


Vulnerability (2)

Three dimensions:

  • Individual: personal functional dependency

    • Personal health status

    • Behavioural consequences

    • (Instrumental) activities of daily living: (I)ADL, measures of independent functioning

  • Household: resources

    • Presence of other people

    • Adequacy of household income

  • Environment

    • Demanding vs. supportive character of the environment

    • Older people are active agents

Active ageing in Vital villages


Village as a demanding environment: environmental stress

  • Environmental stress: process in which people experience emotional distress in relationship to environmental exposures

  • Measuring environmental stress

    • Dissatisfaction with the neighbourhood

    • Feelings of safety

  • Dependent older adults with few household resources experience high levels of environmental stress in demanding villages, while feeling satisfied and safe in less demanding villages

Active ageing in Vital villages


Village as a supportive environment

Vulnerable older people in demanding villages receiving informal care experience less environmental stress than older people receiving formal care (community care)

Older people contribute also to the local quality of life (social support networks, reciprocity)

Meaning of ‘community’ is changed

Active ageing in Vital villages


Receiving care and/or giving care

Active ageing in Vital villages


Person-environment fit

  • Dimensions of person-environment fit for older people

    • Housing and care: quality dwellings, public domain and access to services: Self reliance

    • Wellbeing : Feelings of belonging and identity

  • Opinions about person-environment fit and the own contribution:

    • Opinions about housing, care and well being

    • Own contribution with respect to housing, care and wellbeing

Active ageing in Vital villages


Social vitality of villages (1)definition and images

  • A social vital village is a village where residents put themselves out for each other and their environment, where new residents feel they belong and where people know how to find their way so that new initiatives can get off the ground

  • Stereotypical and contradictory images about (older) people in rural areas

    • Positive: active as volunteers, in clubs, vivid cultural traditions

    • Negative: closed conservative attitude

Active ageing in Vital villages


Social vitality of villages (2) What is needed ?

  • Sufficient quality of the residential function (dwellings and residential environment)

  • Meeting places ‘open’ to all residents (‘third places’)

  • Social capital (to bond and to bridge): characteristics of social relations (inhabitants with large networks) that result in valuable things for the village

  • Active orientation of inhabitants on a changing identity: ‘storytelling’

Active ageing in Vital villages


Active ageing in Vital villages


Older people: a growing diversity

  • Age / Cohort or date of birth

    • Young old and old old

    • Older people born till 1945, born after 1945

  • Migration history

  • Social support network

  • Geographical differences

    • National (culture and institutional)

    • Rural / urban

    • Regional (wealth and culture)

Active ageing in Vital villages


Age

Active ageing in Vital villages


Cohort

Active ageing in Vital villages


Diversity in villages in your country?

Active ageing in Vital villages


National differences (OPERA, 1989)

Active ageing in Vital villages


Social-support networks

Active ageing in Vital villages


Important characteristics of villages for the person-environment fit of older people?

Active ageing in Vital villages


What is important for person-environment fit of older people in villages?

Active ageing in Vital villages


Eastern Gelderland

Active ageing in Vital villages


Possible contributions of older inhabitants to the person-environment fit of older people in villages?

Active ageing in Vital villages


Four situations of person-environment fit

Active ageing in Vital villages


Traditional successful: Nel

  • 75 years

  • Lives 50 years in small village M.

  • Married with farmer

  • Active in community life (choir, noaberschap, dialect)

  • Feels perfectly at home

  • Feels safe

    “I leave the keys in my car and everybody could take the car and I let all the doors open and there is always coffee for anybody who drops in”

Active ageing in Vital villages


Traditional vulnerable: Corrie

  • 86 years

  • Wheelchair

  • 45 years in industrial village B.

  • Low involvement in community life

  • Knows less and less people

  • Feels unsafe

    “The tight community is still there but has gone underground”

Active ageing in Vital villages


Modern vulnerable: Anna

  • 68 years

  • 34 years in small village L.

  • Active in social activities outside village (tennis, classical music)

  • Few contacts in village

  • Feels not at home

  • Feels unsafe

    “L. does not feel as ‘my’ village”

Active ageing in Vital villages


Modern successful: Marjan

  • 68 years

  • Born in large village K., but lived longtime outside village

  • Active in aqua fitness, badminton and voluntary work (Third World shop, Red Cross, local crafts) in village

  • Helps people, knows many people in village

  • Feels at home

  • Feels safe

  • Actively anticipates on later life in village

    “I have spotted my future house in the village”

Active ageing in Vital villages


Active ageing in Vital villages


Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies

Active ageing in vital villages

Frans Thissen


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