09:45 - 10:30
Key Note: PhD Norah C Keating
Moderation: K. Hämel, Bielefeld
Gerontologists have been prone to prescriptive discourses about the relationship between ageing individuals and the contexts in which they live. In the mid-twentieth century, disengagement was viewed as the best interface between older individuals and society. In subsequent decades, beliefs about continuity, successful ageing and active ageing followed as ideal models of ageing-well. Currently, ‘ageing in place’ has become a metaphor for a good old age.
In this presentation, Professor Keating will discuss current perspectives on ageing and communities which have contextualised ageing within place-based settings. The use of community as a focal point has contributed greatly to our understanding of how diverse groups of older people interact with their local environments. In fact, the idea of ‘age-friendly communities’ has been embraced in settings around the world as a pragmatic approach to improving quality of life of older residents.
More critical perspectives suggest that we must not assume that communities are always good places to grow old. Some groups of older people may be at risk of exclusion from the benefi ts of communities afforded other citizens. In turn, diverse types of communities including rural, remote, and inner-city, may benefi t different groups of older adults. In developing countries, researchers have begun to consider whether communities can serve as compensatory mechanisms to social and environmental challenges. It is important to develop clear conceptual perspectives on a good old age as a basis for sound research policy and practice with older adults.
Norah C Keating, PhD, FCAHS
Director, The Global Social Initiative on Ageing (GSIA), International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Professor of Gerontology, Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University, UK Co-director, Research on Aging, Policies and Practice (RAPP), University of Alberta, Canada Extraordinary Professor, Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR), North-West University, South Africa