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Older Women's Community Mobility: A Qualitative Exploration

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2010

Marcia Finlayson
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Joseph Kaufert
Affiliation:
University of Manitoba*

Abstract

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.

Résumé

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.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2002

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