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Aging in the right place: A conceptual framework of indicators for older persons experiencing homelessness
Canham, S. L., Weldrick, R., Sussman, T., Walsh, C. A., & Mahmood, A. (2022). Aging in the right place: A conceptual framework of indicators for older persons experiencing homelessness. The Gerontologist, 62(9), 1251-1257. doi:10.1093/geront/gnac023 PMID: 35137056
Aging in place may not be a universally optimal goal nor accessible to all. Research has highlighted the significance of aging in the right place (AIRP) by recognizing that secure housing for older adults should support one’s unique vulnerabilities and lifestyles. Despite the evolving conceptualization of AIRP for general populations of older adults, considerations of AIRP relevant for older people with previous or current experiences of homelessness are absent from the existing literature. Given this conceptual gap, we developed a framework of indicators relevant for older persons experiencing homelessness. We engaged community partners in the development of our framework and examined what had been described in prior research on aging in place and person-environment fit for older adults. The resulting conceptual framework is comprised of six sub-categories of indicators: 1) Built environment of the housing unit and surrounding neighborhood; 2) Offsite and onsite health and social services and resources; 3) Social integration; 4) Stability and affordability of place; 5) Emotional place attachment; and 6) Broader political and economic contexts. This framework provides a practical and meaningful contribution to the literature which can be used to promote AIRP for individuals whose experiences are often not reflected in existing models.