1. İstanbul Uluslararası Coğrafya Kongresi Bildiri Kitabi
Urban aging geographies: the meanings of old age, home and neighborhood in the context of aging in place in Ankara CityErtuğrul Murat Özgür, Semih Yıldırım, Gizem 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.