Robertson J, Gibson G, Greasley-Adams C, McCall V, Gibson J, Mason-Duff J & Pengelly R (2022) 'It gives you a reason to be in this world': the interdependency of communities, environments and social justice for quality of life in older people. Ageing and Society, 42 (3), pp. 539-563. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0144686x20000859
Research regarding quality of life among older people has predominantly focused on functional elements experienced at individual or dyadic level despite the complex interplay of factors that contribute to quality of life. Perspectives which explore interdependencies within communities and the intersecting environments in which older people exercise agency have seen less study. They do, however, play an important role in influencing quality of life as experienced by older people across community settings. Qualitative data from a co-produced study of dimensions influencing quality of life in older people was subjected to secondary analysis using a critical human ecological approach. Findings demonstrate the importance of community interdependencies in supporting individual quality of life, the expression of active agency to foster quality of life within and across communities, and the importance of state infrastructures and service provision within these interdependencies. This article argues for a movement beyond functional conceptualisations of quality of life towards the inclusion of perspectives regarding communal wellbeing, alongside the role differing types of community play in influencing quality of life. Through developing conceptions of quality of life in social relations and community cohesion, in particular how quality of life is influenced by perceptions of solidarity and social justice including across generations, assessing quality of life at community level will assist in driving cultural change in policy making and practice.
community development; human ecology; intergenerational; interdependence; older people; quality of life; social justice; co-production
Ageing and Society: Volume 42, Issue 3
|Funders||Life Changes Trust|
|Publication date online||31/08/2020|
|Date accepted by journal||22/06/2020|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press (CUP)|