PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (12): 1535-1557.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.004

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Residential normalcy and the aging in place behaviors of older Americans

M. GOLANT Stephen1()   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, University of Florida, Florida 32611, USA
  • Online:2015-12-31 Published:2015-12-31


Older Americans prefer to remain in their current dwellings as long as possible and usually move infrequently, that is, they age in place. This paper explains their infrequent relocation adjustments and shows that this residential inertia results in significant shares of older people who live in unaffordable dwellings with physical deficiencies, in neighborhoods with various undesirable physical and social changes, and who are socially isolated with unmet long-term care needs. To account for this residential inertia despite these problems, it is necessary to understand the strong attractions of their places of residence and the obstacles to moving. Although the assessments of experts and professionals are important, it is necessary to understand how older people themselves subjectively appraise the quality of their residential settings. This paper shows how residential normalcy theory portrays the emotion-based experiences of older people and whether they feel their residential or care settings are congruent with their needs and goals, and if not, how they cope with their inadequate environments.

Key words: aging in place, the Residential Normalcy Theory, residential comfort emotional experiences, residential mastery emotional experiences, older Americans