Wageningen Geography Lectures 2014-2015
Bettina van Hoven, Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
Mobility is associated with freedom, autonomy and flexibility (Mollenkopf et al., 2011). all of which are important in older adults' quality of life.
Older adults who become less mobile are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation. Some might have the ability to be mobile, with relatively few physical impairments, but may have no incentive to use their mobility and thus may suffer a loss of quality of life. All can find ways to deal with loss of physical and social mobility through a variety of coping strategies which place their experienced mobility in contexts that make sense to them. Mobility, in this case, is relational to a variety of factors such as psychosocial, environmental, physical and economic factors (see Webber at al. 2010). In this paper, I draw on research conducted in a residential care home in the Northern Netherlands to discuss relational mobility and quality of life for older adults, analyzed by three dimensions of well-being: physical health, social relations, and self-identity (Ziegler and Schwanen, 2011).