Community-based participatory research for ageing in the right place : developments in concepts, theory, methods, and practice to address housing inequality for older adults
Fang, Mei Lan
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This thesis by publication critiques existing ageing-in-place concepts and discusses the need for a community-led, participatory approach to create effective housing solutions for older adults. It is argued that current understandings of ageing-in-place may perpetuate housing inequality through the dominant view that all older adults can live happily at home for as long as possible. Existing housing strategies developed in pursuance of ageing-in-place are limited by a lack of important theoretical and methodological insight necessary for acquiring in-depth holistic understandings of the place-based needs of older adults towards ageing well in the right place. To fully understand the experience of older adults’ everyday lives as they age-in-place necessitates a collaborative research approach. Such an approach facilitates the active participation of the community and individuals directly impacted by the housing redevelopment process. This thesis introduces and discusses complexities that surround the housing development process for older adults. It consists of five published papers interlinked by an affordable housing redevelopment project in western Canada. These papers focused on: (1) a necessary progression towards ageing in the right place concepts; (2) the importance of collaborative, narrative and creative methods for developing age-friendly housing; (3) theoretical development of an intersectional place perspective; and, (4) the value of knowledge translation mechanisms to create a pathway towards real world impact. The papers present conceptual, theoretical, and methodological developments and contributions that are guided by a critical, community-based participatory research approach. They discuss the value of a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach for the co-creation of effective place-based housing solutions for older adults. The application of CBPR principles helped shape the selection and implementation of methods as well as informed a new theoretical perspective that bridges place theories in Gerontology together with intersectional feminism.