Skip to main content Accessibility help

Older Women's Community Mobility: A Qualitative Exploration

  • Marcia Finlayson (a1) and Joseph Kaufert (a2)


Many of the limitations experienced by community-dwelling older women are related to mobility within their communities. This qualitative study explored community mobility from the perspective of older, community-dwelling women in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 23 older women (mean age 75.9 years) identified through an existing database. In addition to travels to conduct instrumental activities of daily living and participate in social and recreational activities, the women in the study described trips to fulfil social obligations (e.g., attending funerals, visiting sick friends) and emphasized the importance of these trips. The women's travels through the city were influenced by their perception of risk and the strategies they employed to minimize or avoid risk during the day, in the evening, and during bad weather. Autonomous community mobility provided the women with a sense of independence and control. The findings have potential implications for health care providers and community programmers who work to maintain older women in the community.

Plusieurs des limites auxquelles font face les femmes âgées qui vivent dans la communauté concernent leur mobilité. Cette étude qualitative traite de la mobilité des femmes âgées qui vivent dans la communauté à Winnipeg, au Manitoba, et repose sur leur propre point de vue sur la question. On a mené des entrevues semi-structurées auprès de 23 femmes âgées (moyenne d'âge de 75,9 ans) dont les noms faisaient partie d'une banque de données. En plus des déplacements pour les activités instrumentales de la vie quotidienne et pour participer aux activités récréatives et sociales, les femmes de l'étude décrivaient leurs déplacements pour leurs obligations sociales (par. ex.: assister à des funérailles, visiter des ami(e)s malades) et elles ont souligné l'importance de ces déplacements. Leur perception du risque et les stratégies qu'elles devaient employer pour les minimiser ou les contourner pendant le jour, en soirée et lors de conditions météorologiques difficiles influaient sur les déplacements des femmes dans la ville. Les déplacements autonomes dans la communauté procurent aux femmes une forme d'indépendance et de maîtrise. Les conclusions entraînent des répercussions pour les fournisseurs de soins de santé et les organisateurs communautaires qui travaillent à garder les femmes âgées dans la communauté.



Hide All
Ashford, N., & Holloway, F.M. (1972). Transportation patterns of older people in six urban centres. The Gerontologist, 12, 4356.
Ball, K., & Rebok, G. (1994). Evaluating the driving ability of older adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 13(1), 2038.
Bonnel, W.B. (1999). Giving up the care: Older women's losses and experiences. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 37(5), 1015.
Canada, Minister of Industry. (1997). A portrait of seniors in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada.
Carp, F. (1972). Mobility among members of a retirement community. The Gerontologist, (Spring), 4856.
Colsher, P., & Wallace, R.B. (1993). Geriatric assessment and driver functioning. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 9(2), 365375.
Cutler, S.J. (1975). Transportation and changes in life satisfaction. The Gerontologist, 15, 155159.
Cutler, S.J., & Coward, R.T. (1992). Availability of personal transportation in households of elders: Age, gender and residence differences. The Gerontologist, 32, 7781.
Eberhard, J.W. (1998). Driving is transportation for most older people. Geriatrics, 53 (Suppl. 1), S53S55.
Eisenhandler, S.A. (1990). The asphalt identikit: Old age and the driver's license. In Hess, B.B. & Markson, E.W. (Eds), Growing old in America (4th edition), (pp. 104120). New Brunswick, USA: Transaction Publishers.
Forrest, K.Y.Z., Bunker, C.H., Songer, T.H., Coben, J.H., & Cauley, J.A. (1997). Driving patterns and medical conditions in older women. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 45(10), 12141218.
Fox, G.K., Bowden, S.C., Bashford, G.M., & Smith, D.S. (1997). Alzheimer's disease and driving: Prediction and assessment of driving performance. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 45(8), 949953
Gallo, J.J., Rebok, G.W., & Lesikar, S.E. (1999). Driving habits of adults aged 60 years and older. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47(3), 335341.
Gant, R.L., & Smith, J.A. (1988). Journey patterns of the elderly and disabled in the Cotswolds: A spatial analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 27(2), 173180.
Golant, S.M. (1984a). Factors influencing the nighttime activity of old persons in their community. Journal of Gerontology, 39, 485491.
Golant, S.M. (1984b). Factors influencing the locational context of old people's activities. Research on Aging, 6, 528547.
Grant, P.R., & Rice, B. (1983). Transportation problems of the rural elderly: A needs assessment. Canadian Journal on Aging, 2(3), 107124.
Iutcovich, J.M., & Iutcovich, M. (1988). Assessment of the transportation needs of Pennsylvania's elderly population. The Journal of Applied Gerontology, 7, 514529.
Joseph, A.E., & Fuller, A.M. (1991). Towards an integrative perspective on the housing, services and transportation implications of rural aging. Canadian Journal on Aging, 10(2), 127148.
Larson, K.O., Stevens-Ratchford, R.G., Pedretti, L., & Crabtree, J.L. (1996). ROTE: The role of occupational therapy with the elderly (2nd Edition). Rockville, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
Marottoli, R.A., Richardson, E.D., Stowe, M.H., Miller, E.G., Brass, L.M., Cooney, L.M., & Tinetti, M.E. (1998). Development of a test battery to identify older drivers at risk for selr-reported adverse driving events. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 46(5), 562568.
Marottoli, R.A., Mendes de Leon, C.F., Glass, T.A., Williams, C.S., Cooney, L.M., Berkman, L.F., & Tinetti, M.E. (1997). Driving cessation and increased depressive symptoms: Prospective evidence from the New Haven EPESE. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 45(2), 202206.
McGhee, J.L. (1983). Transportation opportunity and the rural elderly: A comparison of objective and subjective indicators. The Gerontologist, 23(5), 505511.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th Ed.). (1993). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.
Canada, Minister of Industry. (1997). A portrait of seniors in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada.
Paaswell, R.E., Weinstein, E., & Nalepa, M. (1982). Housing location and transport for the elderly. In Ashford, N., Bell, W.G., & Rich, T.A. (Eds.), Mobility and transport for elderly and handicapped persons (pp. 5764). New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
Patterson, A.H. (1985). Fear of crime and other barriers to the use of public transportation by the elderly. Journal of Architectural Planning Research, 2, 277288.
Persson, D. (1993). The elderly driver: Deciding when to stop. The Gerontologist, 233(1), 8891.
Rosenbloom, S. (1993). Transportation needs of the elderly population. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 9(2), 297310.
Sims, R.V., Owsley, C., Allman, R.M., Ball, K., & Smoot, T.M. (1998). Preliminary assessment of the medical and functional factors associated with vehicle crashes by older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 46(5), 556561.
Smith, B.W., & Hiltner, J. (1988). Who are the elderly users of public transportation? A case study in Toledo, Ohio. The Journal of Applied Gerontology, 7, 504513.
Smith, G.C. (1984). Spatial aspects of the shopping patterns of the urban elderly. Canadian Journal on Aging, 3, 133146.
Smith, G.C. (1991). Grocery shopping patterns of the ambulatory urban elderly. Environment and Behavior, 23(1), 86114.
Smith, G.C. (1994, April) Personal Communication.
Stewart, R.B., Moore, M.T., Marks, R.G., May, F.E., & Hale, W.E. (1993). Driving accidents in the elderly: An analysis of symptoms, diseases and medications. Journal of Geriatric Drug Therapy, 8(2), 3144.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Stutts, J.C. (1998). Do older drivers with visual and cognitive impairments drive less? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 46(7), 854861.
WordPerfect Corporation (1994). WordPerfect 6.0a for Windows [Computer Software]. Orem, Utah: WordPerfect Corporation.


Older Women's Community Mobility: A Qualitative Exploration

  • Marcia Finlayson (a1) and Joseph Kaufert (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed