Physical and emotional support of the neighborhood for older adults: A comparison of the United States and Germany

Physical and emotional support of the neighborhood for older adults: A comparison of the United States and Germany

AgeLab Postdoctoral Associate Martina Raue, AgeLab Research Scientist Lisa D'Ambrosio, AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin, and former AgeLab Postdoctoral Associate Katharina König are authors of a paper in the Journal of Environmental Psychology on the influence of the living environment on physical and emotional wellbeing for older adults in the United States and in Germany. The abstract explains:

"The living environment plays a critical role in healthy aging. As older adults' physical abilities decrease, they are less likely to compensate for physical barriers and their action radius decreases. Therefore, older adults strongly depend on the neighborhood to meet their needs. The neighborhood environment also has a role to play in the fulfillment of older adults' emotional needs, which are key to successful aging in place."

The study examined a sample of older adults, about half of which resided in the United States and the other half of which resided in Germany. The study observed some differences in how the American- and German-based participants interacted with and relied on their living environments to fulfill their needs, as well as some areas with no differences - suggesting the significance of cultural background in determining the importance of the living environment for older adults.

Read the article in full here.

 

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