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Transforming aging in the right place through community-engaged research: Photovoice with older adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity
Patille, R., Lam, E., Mahmood, A., & Gurung, S. (2022, May 27). Transforming aging in the right place through community-engaged research: Photovoice with older adults who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. Presentation for Horizons: Crisis and Social Transformation in Community-Engaged Research, Vancouver, BC.
Aging in the right place (AIRP) recognizes that to age optimally, older adults’ environment must support and balance their diverse needs, lifestyles, and vulnerabilities. However, little is known on what AIRP means for older adults who are experiencing homelessness (OPEH). This study’s objective was to understand the lived experience of AIRP for OPEH residing in a transitional housing program (THP). Photovoice interviews were conducted with ten older adults with diverse backgrounds and housing experiences. To build rapport between researcher and participant, each interview was conducted in three 45 to 60-minutes sessions over three weeks, allowing for deeper insights into how the THP contributes to AIRP for OPEH. The preliminary findings from this study suggests that the THP is a steppingstone for AIRP for OPEH. Findings point to preliminary themes: 1) community mobility and access, 2) role of time, space, and diverse users in social interaction, 3) supportive features of THP, and 4) engagement with built and natural environment. Photovoice centers people with lived experience, encouraging them to document their perspectives through photography and storytelling. This method promotes self-advocacy and critical dialogue and is particularly well-suited to examine complex issues of equity like AIRP and rights-based housing. Our team will elaborate on the findings and discuss how photovoice was used effectively to engage in community-engaged research with OPEH to cultivate self-advocacy among study participants. With an emphasis on participants’ perspectives of AIRP, findings can help transform policy around aging and advocate for adequate housing for OPEH.
aging in the right place, older adults, homelessness, housing, photovoice