Table of Content

    13 January 2016, Volume 34 Issue 12 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Orginal Article
    A review and frame-work setting of geographical research on aging in China
    Xiaolu GAO, Danxian WU, Zening XU, Bingqiu YAN
    2015, 34 (12):  1480-1494.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.001
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    China is going through a very special era characterized by rapid population aging, abrupt social and economic transformations, and widespread restructuring of urban and rural spaces. With the factors and mechanisms underlying the aging process becoming increasingly complicated, integration of geographic research on aging with gerontology and other disciplines is indispensable, and it is time to examine the direction of geographical research on aging from the perspective of disciplinary development. Based on an intensive literature review, this article extracts five themes from existing geographic studies on aging in China, that is, the spatial and temporal characteristics of population aging, the social and spatial impacts of aging, interactions of human health and environments, the spatial behavior of elderly people, and spatial planning of senior services. Comments are made on existing studies along these lines respectively. Through a comparison of Chinese and western studies with regard to the socioeconomic backgrounds, policy needs, and research foci, key issues in geographical research on aging in China are raised, including academic framework and theoretical and methodological constructions. Future research emphases are discussed, with the aim to provide a general framework for understanding and studying China's aging process from the perspective of geography.

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    Rethinking ageing in place: the ‘people’ and ‘place’ nexus
    BOYLE Alexandra, L. WILES Janine, A. KEARNS Robin
    2015, 34 (12):  1495-1511.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.002
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    ‘Ageing in place’ is a well-established concept within gerontological and geographical literatures as well as continuing to be mobilised as a potentially effective policy mechanism for addressing the needs and choices of ageing populations. To date, ageing in place research has highlighted many factors that enable older adults to age well in the (home) place focusing on the physical dimensions of housing or the home as a site of care. Gerontological researchers also recognise that ageing in place, or community living, implies a two-way relationship between the physical contexts and the social and emotional places of ageing. However we argue for a subtle, yet crucial, inversion of the roles of people and place in the experiences of ageing. In particular we suggest that what makes ageing in place successful is the potential of place to support meaningful relationships. We suggest that too often the word ‘place’ constrains focus to those spaces that are geographically proximate to the ageing body or are physically bounded such as the house or neighbourhood. Instead, drawing on a review of current literature, we explore the idea that what is of greater consequence to many people who are ageing in place is the multiple, networked social and non-social relations they develop across different spatial scales and over time. This revised approach to ageing in place allows us to understand better older adults’ layered connectivity to place and well as the ability to differentiate the meaning of ageing in place by the scale and types of relationships.

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    Ageing movement as space-time: introducing non-representational theory to the geography of ageing
    J. ANDREWS Gavin, M. GRENIER Amanda
    2015, 34 (12):  1512-1534.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.003
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    This paper argues for the deployment of non-representational theory in the geographical study of ageing and provides an introduction to the approach. The result of its deployment, we argue, would be a rejuvenated field of research that is inclusive of a far wider-variety of movement occurrences and experiences in older people’s lives, that attends to physical, immediate and felt dimensions of movement, and thus that better conveys - and reverberates - the basic substance of movement itself.

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    Residential normalcy and the aging in place behaviors of older Americans
    M. GOLANT Stephen
    2015, 34 (12):  1535-1557.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.004
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    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.

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    Place and informal care in an ageing society: reviewing the state of the art in geographical gerontology
    MILLIGAN Christine
    2015, 34 (12):  1558-1576.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.005
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    Who cares for our frail older populations and where is fast becoming a critical issue for policy-makers and practitioners in many high income countries as they grapple with the economic and welfare implications of increasing longevity. This demographic shift is, of course, a major success story. However, increased life expectancy is also bringing with it a growth in those numbers of older people, particularly the oldest old, who are experiencing multiple morbidities and a declining ability to undertake those instrumental activities of daily life(IADLs) that are so important to maintaining independence and dignity in later life. At the same time, policy and practice has shifted away from residential or institutional care for our older population to focus on ‘ageing in place’. Here, older people are to be supported to remain within their own homes for as long as possible. Conceptually, this has meant that services and care previously delivered within a single institutional environment, have been redesigned for delivery within domestic settings where frail older people would also benefit from the informal care support from family, friends and neighbours. On the one hand, this has meant that many older people have benefited from the familiarity, sense of safety and support that care provided within the domestic setting has engendered; on the other, changing family structures, a decline in community and sweeping health and welfare cuts in an era of economic austerity have left growing numbers of older people increasingly lonely, isolated and at risk. Understanding who cares, where, the form that care takes and how this is being differentially experienced by our older populations have been issues of growing concern for geographers interested in health and ageing. In this paper I review the current ‘state of the art’ of geographical gerontology around informal care and the home and illustrate how those working in this field are making an important contribution to multidisciplinary debates around care of our older populations.

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    Aging at home and the intent to relocate in Beijing
    YU Jie, W. ROSENBERG Mark, CHENG Yang
    2015, 34 (12):  1577-1585.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.006
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    The Chinese government has proposed "Aging in community" and "socialization of elderly care" as the basic strategies for the older population, which means the government is trying to keep older people at home, providing care at the community level and making care the responsibility of the whole society. To create a favorable environment that keeps older people at home, it is crucial to understand older people’s experiences of aging at home, and the environmental factors that influence their aging experiences and intention of relocation to an institute. The quantitative analysis is based on 405 valid questionnaires out of 451 questionnaires collected. By using cross tabulation and logistic regression model, it is found that physical environment, including housing condition and community built environment, explains the tendency and also determines the general experience of aging at home. Older people's child/children, as stated in previous studies, is an important factor when discussing aging in Chinese context. Whether older people are satisfied with their children's visit not only determines their experience of aging in place, but also explains their intention of moving to a RCF.The younger age group is more open to residential care facilities. Community and community service are still under construction but its effectiveness determines aging at home experience.

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    Micro simulation and planning policies analysis for urban elderly care facilities: take Beijing as an example
    Bingqiu YAN, Xiaolu GAO, Jue JI
    2015, 34 (12):  1586-1597.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.007
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    The spatial planning of urban elderly care facilities in China is featured by great diversity and dynamic change of elderly needs brought by rapid ageing of the society and sharp transformation of population structure. This study addressed the planning issue of urban elderly care facilities. An agent-based simulation framework was presented. The differentiation of elderly service demand across time and space, the behavior rules of the elderly and caring facility agents and their interactions with the urban environments extracted from previous investigations and studies were used as input for the simulation model. Subsequently, a multi-agent simulation model was set up with Beijing as the case study area, enabling prediction of the demand and provision of elderly care facilities in the city during year 2010 and 2030. To facilitate evaluation of the planning policies for elderly care services, three indices were developed, the occupancy rate, bed number for 100 elderly, and spatial matching degree of facilities in relationship to older population, and they were applied to evaluation and analysis of the planning policies for elderly care facilities in Beijing. It was concluded that, agent-based simulation is a powerful approach for understanding the trend of elderly population and for handling the uncertainty and dynamics of elderly care needs, in addition to accommodating the spatial attributes of various factors. Analysis on the planning policies such as the "9064" scheme that confining the share of different kind of elderly care services and the total number of facility beds and the plan for facility sites revealed that, these policies will not play well without additional regulation. With these regulations alone, the occupancy rate of the facilities might decrease to an astonishing degree of 45% in 2030. To improve the planning policy, it was argued to regulate the proportion of facilities located in central city areas as well as the pricing, location and service standard of the elderly care facilities.

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    Factors influencing travel behavior of urban elderly people in Nanjing
    Jianxi FENG, Zhenshan YANG
    2015, 34 (12):  1598-1608.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.008
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    The fast increase in absolute number and proportion of elderly population has a wide range of implications for society. The ability and patterns of mobility, which is heavily influenced by built environments, is center to the quality of life of elderly. Based on the Nanjing Residents Travel Survey 2012, this study found that elderly people made more trips but with shorter travel distance and travel time per day compared with young adults. This indicated that elderly action space was, to some extent, a circle around home. Regarding the choice of means and travel purposes, elderly were more likely to walk and cycle than the young cohorts and tended to make more trips for shopping and leisure purposes. The study also observed that compact urban form could make elderly have more out-of-home trips but with shorter travel distance. Close proximity to public transport facilities was related to more trip generation for elderly. Compared with shopping malls, street stalls were found to have more profound influences on the shopping behavior of elderly. Similarly, chess rooms and parks and square seemed more attractive than gyms and museums for elderly. The results of this study are relevant for making appreciate policies to distribute various public facilities for elderly in an aging society.

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    Spatial optimization of residential care facility locations in 2020 in Beijing: maximum equity in accessibility
    Zhuolin TAO, Yang CHENG, Teqi DAI, Xue LI
    2015, 34 (12):  1609-1616.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.009
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    Beijing is facing rapid population aging. Residential care plays an increasingly important role in the care for the elderly people. It is of great importance to optimize the layout of residential care facilities to ensure equal and reasonable access, which has scientific and practical implications. This study first forecasted the spatial distribution of the elderly population under natural growth in 2020 in Beijing. Second, a spatial optimization model was established to maximize equity in access to residential care facilities. The Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm was used to solve the optimization model. As the results show, the elderly population aged 60 or older will reach 4.37 million in 2020 in Beijing, among which 7.9%, 50.2%, 30.1%, and 11.8% of the total elderly population will be located in the Capital Core Functional Area, Urban Functional Extension Area, Urban New Developing Area, and Ecological Protection Area, respectively. By contrast, 2.7%, 32.7%, 48.5%, and 16.1% of the total residential care facility (RCF) beds will be located in the Capital Core Functional Area, Urban Functional Extension Area, Urban New Developing Area, and Ecological Protection Area, respectively when optimized . The optimized RCF layouts improve spatially equal access to residential care resources with very low accessibility standard variation (0.0026), while the accessibility standard variation of actual layouts is 8 times (0.0207) that of the optimized results. In the layouts with maximum equity in access, only a portion of the demands for residential care in the Capital Core Functional Area and Urban Functional Extension Area will be met locally. The residential care resources in the Urban New Developing Area will meet both the local demands and the demands from the two functional areas in the central city. The Ecological Protection Area, however, mainly provides residential care services for the local elderly population. The optimized results of this study correspond to the “Special Plan for the Development of Residential Care Facilities in Beijing,” which also conforms to the reality that the land resources are in shortage in the central city and the physical environment in the suburb is more pleasant for the elderly people. The results of this study will support knowledge-based policy-making and planning of residential care facilities. The methods introduced in this study can also be applied to the spatial optimization of other types of public service facilities.

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    Change of mobility of urban elderly and effects on their daily life:a narrative analysis of the life of a retired couple living in an urban community
    Zhilian GU, Yanwei CHAI
    2015, 34 (12):  1617-1627.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.010
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    Based on an individual perspective, this study selected a pair of "empty nest" elderly as samples to conduct a narrative analysis of their mobility change and the course of daily life since retirement. Their mobility and daily life after retirement have experienced three phases: first the expansion of the daily life space, then gradually shrinking to community and surrounding, and lastly confined near home. Aging body and the change of health status, and family factors mainly contributed to the evolution of different phases of the elderly mobility and daily life. At different stages of the aging process, the resources of individuals, families, and the local communities constituted the context of daily mobility of the elderly to various degrees. Community resources have been prominent to individuals who experienced a reduced mobility. Drawing from this study, daily mobility has played an important and evolving role in the elderly daily life. This study calls for attention to elderly mobility space in order to ultimately improve the quality of life for the elderly population. More detailed studies of the interaction of elderly mobility and urban environment are required to lead to a sustainable and elderly-friendly urban planning and policy.

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    Living environment and life satisfaction of aged population in Beijing Municipality
    Jingqiu ZHANG, Huan LIU, Yingxi QI, Xueyan LI
    2015, 34 (12):  1628-1636.  doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.011
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    Taking the 60 years or older population in Beijing as the main research object and based on data from the sixth census and a sampling survey, this study analyzes the spatial characteristics of the living environment and life satisfaction of elderly in Beijing using statistical and spatial analysis methods. The results show that: (1) the aged population of the urban space declined from the Beijing downtown area to the periphery, peaked around the third ring road. The aged population was high in the inner city and the western suburbs, mainly in the Dongcheng and Xicheng Districts, where the percentage of the aged population was generally greater than 10%. The percentage of aged population was relatively high in the Haidian, Fengtai, and Shijingshan Districts, with greater internal differentiation within these districts. (2) The elderly respondents lived mainly in two persons households, followed by four and five persons households and in the latter case the respondents were often younger. Those living alone and empty-nesters often aged over 70 years. Housing of the respondents was often purchased from the work units and this is the main factor affecting the elderly's choice of residence. (3) Overall life satisfaction of the respondents was relatively high. Among the income, health, living conditions, and happiness factors, happiness was slightly higher than the other three factors and satisfaction toward income was relatively low. (4) Dichotomous Logistic models were used to analyze form of living arrangements, relationship with neighbors, surrounding service facilities, and community environmental conditions and it was found that large shopping facilities, community sports activities, relationship with neighbors, and community identity positively impacted on life satisfaction of the elderly respondents, while empty-nest situation and poor medical facilities and property management resulted in a negative impact on the life satisfaction of the elderly respondents.

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