The project studies environmental factors as predictors of participation and autonomy among older people. The project examines the environment, not only as perceived by the individual, but also objectively at the community level, focusing on the impact of residential area deprivation and infrastructure on participation opportunities. Data are drawn from two longitudinal research projects: Life-space mobility in old age, which will be linked with new data on neighborhood infrastructure collected with Geographic Information System; and the North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis project.
The study will be conducted at the Gerontology Research Center at the University of Jyväskylä and include mobility periods at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and Lund University, Sweden. This project will generate new scientific knowledge on how the environment affects possibilities to participate and maintain autonomy and quality of life in old age, irrespective of declines in health.