Exploring aging in place inquiry through the lens of resilience theory
Aging in place, habitational resilience, P-E fit theory, person-environment transactions, personal adaptations, resilience theory
Housing and Society
Many late-life older adults prefer remaining in one’s home among familiar and comforting surroundings until life’s end. However, this may be a challenging pursuit due to accelerating physical and cognitive declines. Researchers, designers, and care providers grapple to identify strategies which best support aging in place. Resilience theory offers a new lens which has not been explored by previous researchers. Through observations and interviews, we explored what adaptive qualities and actions ten late-life older adults utilized to age in place. Results show that the interviewees applied personal resilience across a range of challenges. We discuss vignettes within a framework of established theories which address successful alignment of person-environment (P-E) transactions and situate our findings within foundational and nascent explorations of resilience theory. We explore the need to investigate resilience as a distinguishable personal factor which greatly impacts late-life aging in place. Because resilience includes protective factors as well as adaptive processes, it adds to the current discourse of how resilient late-life older adults utilize personal agency and goal direction to proactively sustain daily living at home. Finally, we propose the term habitational resilience to encompass the connection between personal adaptiveness and resulting effective interactions within the home environment.
School of Applied Human Sciences
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Stafford, Gloria E. and Gulwadi, Gowri Betrabet, "Exploring aging in place inquiry through the lens of resilience theory" (2020). Faculty Publications. 363.