DOI :10.26650/PB/PS12.2019.002.038   IUP :10.26650/PB/PS12.2019.002.038    Full Text (PDF)

Urban aging geographies: the meanings of old age, home and neighborhood in the context of aging in place in Ankara City

Ertuğrul Murat ÖzgürSemih YıldırımGizem Su

The private living environments of the elderly in Turkey and their interactions within these environments will become even more important in the near future, as will contextual aspects of varied environments, places, and communities where the elderly reside, work, spend time, and receive care. This research explores the meanings of old age, home, and neighborhood for the elderly in the context of “aging in place.” This study utilized an interpretive social science approach to collect data on the experiences of 20 older people living in three middle-income districts of Ankara. Data obtained through semistructured interviews were subjected to qualitative analysis. The findings of this study suggest that negative meanings such as loneliness, weakness, disability, dependency, and worthlessness were attributed to old age. Although the elders attributed positive meanings such as freedom, comfort, tranquility, and safety to the concept of home, nursing homes were perceived as spaces of abandonment, necessity, and institutional abuse. The neighborhood was depicted as a place of life experiences where memories founded on neighborhood, friendship, mutual trust, and cooperation have been accumulated, as well as a place of familiarity owing to repeated daily practices and experiences. The results highlight the importance of examining the elderly in their own environment and from their own perspectives, as understanding their aging and aging places/spaces can significantly inform the development of relevant policies and programs.


  • Altman, I. & Low, S. M. (Eds.). (1992). Place attachment. New York: Plenum Press. google scholar
  • Arun, Ö. (2013). Ageing in Turkey: The Peter Pan Syndrome? In J. Troisi & H. J. von Kondratowitz (Eds.), Ageing in the Mediterranean (pp. 301- 328). London: Policy Press. google scholar
  • Behar, C. (2006). Demographic developments and “complementarities”: Ageing, labor and migration. Turkish Studies, 7(1), 17-31. https://doi. org/10.1080/14683840500520543 google scholar
  • Bigonnesse, C., Beaulieu, M. & Garon, S. (2014). Meaning of home in later life as a concept to understand older adults’ housing needs: Results from the 7 age-friendly cities pilot project in Québec. Journal of Housing For the Elderly, 28(4), 357-382. 014.930367 google scholar
  • Buttimer, A. (1980). Home reach and the sense of place. In A. Buttimer & D. Seamon (Eds.), The Human experience of space and place (pp.166- 187). London: Croom Helm. google scholar
  • Chapin,R. & Dobbs-Kepper, D. (2001). Aging in place in assisted living: Philosophy versus policy. Gerontologist, 41(1), 43–50. geront/41.1.43 google scholar
  • Chaudhury, H. & Rowles, G.D. (2005). Between the shores of recollection and imagination: Self, aging, and home In Graham D. Rowles and Habib Chaudhury (Eds.), Home and identity in late life: International perspectives (pp.3-18). New York: Springer. google scholar
  • Cutchin, M.P. (2004). Using Deweyan philosophy to rename and reframe adaptation-to-environment. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58(3), 303–312. doi.10.5014/ajot.58.3.303 google scholar
  • Gans, H. (1962). The urban villagers. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press. Düzcan, E. (2012). Türkiye’deki güncel konut araştırmalarında ev olgusu. (Yüksek Lisans Tezi). Kadir Has Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul Eryurt, M.A. (2014). Türkiye’de yaşlı nüfus ve yaşlılık dönemiyle ilgili yaşam tercihleri. Türkiye aile yapısı araştırması: Tespitler, öneriler içinde (s. 88-109). İstanbul: TC Aile ve Sosyal Politikalar Bakanlığı. google scholar
  • Hummon, D.M. (1992). Community attachment. Local sentiment and sense of place. In I. Altman, & S. M. Low (Eds.), Place attachment (pp. 253- 277). New York and London: Plenum Press. Iecovich, E. (2014). Aging in place: From theory to practice. Anthropological Notebooks, 20(1), 21–33. Erişim adresi: https://pdfs.semanticscholar. org/f9fc/8e6e859408543cb512a499d37a4267edb348.pdf google scholar
  • İnceoğlu, A.A. (1999). Evin anlamı ve kentleşme süreçleri. (Doktora Tezi). İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü, İstanbul. google scholar
  • Kasarda, J.D. & Janowitz, M. (1974). Community attachment in mass society. American Sociological Review, 39(3), 328-339. doi:10.2307/2094293 Korosec-Serfaty, P. (1985). Experience and use of the dwelling. In I. Altman and C. M. Werner (Eds.), Human behaviour and environment, Vol 8: Home environments. London: Plenum Press. google scholar
  • Lalli, M. (1992). Urban-related identity: Theory, measurement, and empirical findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 12(4), 285–303. https:// google scholar
  • Oswald, F. & Wahl, H.W.(2005). Dimensions of the meaning of home in later life. In Graham D. Rowles & Habib Chaudhury (Eds.), Home and identity in late Life: International perspectives (pp.21-45). New York: Springer. google scholar
  • Oswald, F., Jopp, D., Rott, C. & Wahl, H.W. (2010). Is aging in place a resource for or risk to life satisfaction? The Gerontologist, 51(2), 238-250. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq096 google scholar
  • Özgür, E.M. (2019). Yaşlanmanın coğrafyaları: Coğrafi gerontolojide ilerleme, tartışmalar ve araştırma gündemi. Coğrafi Bilimler Dergisi, 17(1), 78-109. doi: 10.33688/ aucbd.512325 google scholar
  • Proshansky, H.M. (1978). The city and self-identity. Environment & Behavior, 10(2) 147–169. google scholar
  • Proshansky, H. M., Fabian, A. K. & Kaminoff, R. (1983). Place identity: Physical world socialization of the self. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 3(1), 57-83. google scholar
  • Rapoport, A. (1982). Identity and environment: a cross-cultural perspective. In J.S. Duncan (Ed.), Housing and identity (pp.6-35). New York: Homes and Meier. google scholar
  • Relph, E. (1976). Place and placelessness. London: Pion. Rowles, G. D. & Ravdal, H. (2001). Aging, place and meaning in the face of changing circumstances. In R. Weiss & S. Bass (Eds.), Challenges of the third age: Meaning and purpose in later life (pp. 81–114). New York: Oxford University Press. google scholar
  • Sarason, S. (1974). The psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. Oxford, England: Jossey-Bass. google scholar
  • Seamon, D. (1979). A geography of the lifeworld. London: Croom Helm. google scholar
  • Sixsmith, J. (1986). The meaning of home: An exploratory study of environmental experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 6(4), 281-298. google scholar
  • Stokols, D. & Shumaker, S.A. (1981). People in places: A transactional view of settings. In J. Harvey (Ed.), Cognition, social behavior and the environment (pp. 441-488). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. google scholar
  • Tuan, Y. F. (1974). Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. google scholar
  • Tuan, Y.F. (1977). Space and place: The perspective of experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. google scholar
  • Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu-TÜİK (2015). İstatistiklerle yaşlılar 2014. Ankara: TÜİK. google scholar
  • TÜİK (2018). Demografik göstergeler, 2000-2025. google scholar
  • TÜSİAD (1999). Türkiye’nin fırsat penceresi: Demografik dönüşüm ve izdüşümleri. İstanbul: Türk Sanayicileri ve İşadamları Derneği. Erişim adresi: google scholar
  • Wiles, J.L., Leibing, A., Guberman, N., Reeve, J. & Allen, R.E.S. (2011). The meaning of “aging in place” to older people. The Gerontologist, 52(3), 357-366. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr098. google scholar
  • Zingmark, K., Norberg, A. & Sandman, P.O. (1995). The experience of being at home throughout the life span. Investigation of persons aged from 2 to 102. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 41(1), 47–62. doi: 10.2190/N08L-42J5-31D2-JUQA google scholar


Istanbul University Press aims to contribute to the dissemination of ever growing scientific knowledge through publication of high quality scientific journals and books in accordance with the international publishing standards and ethics. Istanbul University Press follows an open access, non-commercial, scholarly publishing.