•  
  •  
 

Keywords

rural aging, aging in place, residential relocation, qualitative analysis

Abstract

Literature often looks at older persons’ rural-to-urban moves, but relocation within the same region is less explored. The purpose of this study is to understand the perspectives of older persons who move to age in town in the same rural setting. Using data from 16 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with older persons in a rural community and directed content analysis, this study examines these older persons’ assessments of their current living situation, still seen as living rurally but now in a more populous location. Although moving within a rural environment, for different reasons, they do not report feelings of being “stuck in place.” Rather, older adults interviewed had positive thoughts of earlier life (i.e. in farm settings) while seeing benefits of being “in town” and close to amenities (e.g. activities, services, and family) while still feeling a part of the same rural place. Six themes emerged about the move. “Here and now, I am doing things” revealed the move increased social activities. The “Widow’s or widower’s move” found relocation due to spousal death. Couples moved as their own choice for amenities or less house/land-related responsibilities. The “I’ve always moved around” group saw relocation as a natural part of life. Others moved to be close to family, but it was their own choice. And the last theme showed positive or negative impressions of the farmer identity: either “get me off the farm!” or, “still a farmer at heart.” Differences in the experience of transition, sense of insiderness, and place-continuity appear in this less-studied group.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

References

References

Allaby, M., & Park, C. (Eds.). (2013). A dictionary of environment and conservation. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ayalon, L., & Greed, O. (2015). A typology of new residents’ adjustment to continuing care retirement communities. The Gerontologist, online first. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu121

Bellamy, G., Bolin, J. & Gamm, L. (2011). Rural healthy people 2010, 2020, and beyond the need goes on.” Family & Community Health, 34(2), 182-88. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e31820dea1c

Burholt, V. & Dobbs, C. (2012). Research on rural ageing: Where have we got to and where are we going in Europe?” Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 432-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.01.009

Chevan, A. (1995). Holding on and letting go residential mobility during widowhood. Research on Aging, 17(3), 278-302. doi: 10.1177/0164027595173003

Cohen, D. & Crabtree, B. (2013). Qualitative research guidelines project. Robert Wood Johnson Organization. Retrieved June 17, 2013(http://www.qualres.org /HomeSemi-3629.html).

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications. \

Cutchin, M. P. (2001). Deweyan integration: Moving beyond place attachment in elderly migration theory. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 52, 29-44. doi: 10.2190/AF2D-A0T4-Q14C-1RTW

Cutchin, M.P. (2003). The process of mediated aging-in-place: A theoretically and empirically based model. Social Science & Medicine, 57(6), 1077-90. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00486-0

Davies, A. (2011). On constructing ageing rural populations: capturing the ‘grey nomad’. Journal of Rural Studies, 27(2), 191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.01.004

Davis, S., Crothers, N., Grant, J., Young, S., & Smith, K. (2012). Being involved in the country: Productive ageing in different types of rural communities. Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 338-346. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.01.008

de Medeiros, K. (2014). Narrative gerontology in research and practice. New York, NY: Springer.

Dean, W. R., Sharkey, J. R., Nalty, C. C., & Xu, J. (2014). Government capital, intimate and community social capital, and food security status in older adults with different income levels. Rural Sociology, 79(4), 505-531. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12047

Dugan-Day, M. L., Dollar, S. C., & Kaf, W. A. (2015). Rural older adults and Functional Health Literacy: testing self-efficacy, knowledge and skills resulting from hands-on health promotion. Contemporary Rural Social Work, 7(2), 100-114.

Erickson, L. D., Call, V. R. A., & Brown, R. B. (2012). SOS—Satisfied or stuck, why older rural residents stay put: Aging in place or stuck in place in rural Utah. Rural Sociology, 77(3), 408-434. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2012.00084.x

Hash, K. M., Jurkowski, E. T., & Krout, J. A. (2014). Aging in rural places: Policies, programs, and professional practice (1st ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Glasgow, N., & Brown, D. (2012). Rural ageing in the United States: Trends and contexts. Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 422-431. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X13000627

Goins, R. T., & Krout, J. A. (2006). Service delivery to rural older adults: Research, policy, and practice. New York, NY: Springer.

Golant, S. M. (2015). Residential normalcy and the enriched coping repertoires of successfully aging older adults. The Gerontologist, 55(1), 70-82. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu036

Golant, S. (2008). Commentary: Irrational exuberance for the aging in place of vulnerable low-income older homeowners. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 20(4), 379-397.doi: 10.1080/08959420802131437

Kang, B., & Pope, N. (2010). Residential relocation in later life: A comparison of proactive and reactive moves. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 24(2), 193-207. doi: 10.1080/02763891003757122

Granbom, M., Himmelsbach, I., Haak, M., Löfqvist, C., Oswald, F., & Iwarsson, S. (2014). Residential normalcy and environmental experiences of very old people: Changes in residential reasoning over time. Journal of Aging Studies, 29, 9-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2013.12.005

Kenyon, G., Ruth, J.-E. & Mader, W. (1999). Elements of a Narrative Gerontology in V.L. Bengston, K.W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging. (pp. 40-58). New York, NY: Springer.

Li, H. (2006). Unmet needs for supportive services: A comparison of rural and urban older adults. Journal of Social Service Research, 32(3), 19-39. doi: 10.1300/J079v32n03_02

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Litwak, E., & Longino, C. F., Jr. (1987). Migration patterns among the elderly: A developmental perspective. The Gerontologist, 27, 266-272. doi: 10.1093/geront/27.3.266

Löfqvist, C., Granbom, M., Himmelsbach, I., Iwarsson, S., Oswald, F., & Haak, M. (2013). Voices on relocation and aging in place in very old age: A complex and ambivalent matter. The Gerontologist, 53(6), 919-927. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt034

Lovegreen, L. D., Kahana, E., & Kahana, B. (2010). Residential relocation of amenity migrants to Florida: “Unpacking” post-amenity moves. Journal of Aging and Health, 22(7), 1001-1028. doi: 10.1177/0898264310374507

Mair, C. A., & Thivierge-Rikard, R. V. (2010). The strength of strong ties for older rural adults: Regional distinctions in the relationship between social interaction and subjective well-being. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70(2), 119-143. doi: 10.2190/AG.70.2.b

Mammen, S., & Sano, Y. (2012). Gaining access to economically marginalized rural populations: Lessons learned from nonprobability sampling. Rural Sociology, 77(3), 462-482. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2012.00083.x

Mattson, J. W. (2010). Aging and mobility in rural and small urban areas: A survey of North Dakota. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 30(6), 700-718. doi: 10.1177/0733464811378107

McMillan Lequieu, A. (2015). Keeping the farm in the family name: Patrimonial narratives and negotiations among German‐Heritage farmers. Rural Sociology, 80(1), 39-59. doi:10.1111/ruso.12046

Menec, V. H., Means, R., Keating, N., Parkhurst, G., & Eales, J. (2011). Conceptualizing age-friendly communities. Canadian Journal on Aging, 30(3), 479-493. doi: 10.1017/S0714980811000237

Mentsen, T., Hellzen, O., & Enmarker, I. (2014). Struggling for independence: The meaning of being an oldest old man in a rural area. Interpretation of oldest old men's narrations. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9, 1-8

Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Milbourne, P. (2012). Growing old in rural places. Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 315-317. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.10.001 Nahemow, L., Lawton, M. P., & Center, P. G. (1973). Toward an ecological theory of adaptation and aging 1.3. Environmental Design Research: Selected papers, 1-24.

Ness, T. M., Hellzen, O., & Enmarker, I. (2014). “Embracing the present and fearing the future”: The meaning of being an oldest old woman in a rural area. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9, 1-11. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v9.25217

Oswald, F., Jopp, D., Rott, C., & Wahl, H. (2011). Is aging in place a resource for or risk to life satisfaction? The Gerontologist, 51(2), 238-50. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq096

Perkinson M. A. & Solimeo S. L. (2013). Aging in cultural context and as narrative process: Conceptual foundations of the anthropology of aging as reflected in the works of Margaret Clark and Sharon Kaufman. The Gerontologist, on-line first. doi:10.1093/geront/gnt128.

Perry, T. E., Andersen, T. C., & Kaplan, D. B. (2014). Relocation remembered: Perspectives on senior transitions in the living environment. The Gerontologist, 54(1), 75-81. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt070.

Phelps, S. & Lehman, J. (2015). “Town.” In West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. Detroit, IL: Gale, 2005. 64-65.

Pilgeram, R., & Amos, B. (2015). Beyond “Inherit it or marry it”: Exploring how women engaged in sustainable agriculture access farmland. Rural Sociology, 80(1), 16-38. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12054

Ponzetti, J. (2003). Growing old in rural communities: A visual methodology for studying place attachment. Journal of Community Rural Psychology, E6(1) 1-23. http://www.marshall.edu/jrcp/E6one_Ponzetti.htm

PR Newswire. (2008). Colorado’s empty nesters now have an option for a real home in the city: Harvard communities develops the only patio homes in Denver. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/colorados-empty-nesters-now-have-an-option-for-a-real-home-in-the-city-57417487.html

Randall, W., Clews, R. A., & Furlong, D. (2015). The tales that bind: A narrative model for living and helping in rural communities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Riessman, C. K. (1993). Narrative analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Rowles, G. D. (1988). What’s rural about rural aging? An Appalachian perspective. Journal of Rural Studies, 4(2), 115-124. doi: 10.1016/0743-0167(88)90029-0

Russ, R. (2012). Wellness activities of rural older adults in the Great Plains. The Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, 7 (1), 1 – 14. doi: 10.4148/ojrrp.v7i1.1626

State of Colorado. (2014). Colorado’s planning and management region report. Department of Local Affairs, State Demography Office.

Stimson, R., & McCrea, R. (2004). A push-pull framework for modelling the relocation of retirees to a retirement village: The Australian experience. Environment and Planning, 36(8), 1451-1470. doi: 10.1068/a36206

Strohschein, L. (2012). “I want to move, but cannot”: Characteristics of involuntary stayers and associations with health among Canadian seniors. Journal of Aging and Health, 24(5), 735-751. doi: 10.1177/0898264311432312

Torres-Gil, F. & Hofland, B. (2012). “Vulnerable populations.” (221-32). In Independent for life: Homes and neighborhoods for an aging America. Eds. Cisneros, H. Dyer- Chamberlain, M. & Hickie, J. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press.

Weil, J. (in press). Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods, Routledge.

Wiles, J., Leibing, A., Guberman, N., Reeve, J., & Allen, R. (2012). The meaning of “aging in place” to older people. The Gerontologist, 52(3), 357-66. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr098

Winterton, R., & Warburton, J. (2012). Ageing in the bush: The role of rural places in maintaining identity for long term rural residents and retirement migrants in north-east Victoria, Australia. Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 329-337. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.01.005

Winterton, R., & Warburton, J. (2011). Does place matter? Reviewing the experience of disadvantage for older people in rural Australia. Rural Society, 20(2), 187-197. doi: 10.5172/rsj.20.2.187

Wiseman, R. F. (1980). Why older people move theoretical issues. Research on aging, 2(2), 141-154. doi: 10.1177/016402758022003

Zanjani, F., & Rowles, G. (2012). “We don’t want to talk about that”: Overcoming barriers to rural aging research and interventions on sensitive topics. Journal of Rural Studies, 28(4), 398-405. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.03.005

Share

COinS