PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (12): 1617-1627.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.010

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

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 GU1,2(), Yanwei CHAI2,*   

  1. 1. Shenzhen Urban Planning and Land Resource Research Center, Shenzhen 518040, Guangdong, China
    2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2015-12-31 Published:2015-12-31
  • Contact: Yanwei CHAI


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.

Key words: elderly in urban areas, mobility, daily life, narrative analysis