The effect of accessibility of the neighborhood facilities on the active aging of older women: a comparative study from Ankara

Uysal, Ebru
Aging begins with the birth of a child and ends with the death of an individual. After the maturation process is completed, the physical capacities of humans begin to decrease. Accordingly, aging refers to a process in which life functions decrease. As health systems develop, peoples’ expectancy to live longer increase. In particular, women live longer than men. At the same time, the population of the elderly is increasing in the world. Regardless of the development level of a country, old age is now becoming an essential issue that the whole world has to deal with. For this reason, it becomes very important for people to be healthy and active as they age. Being healthy and active is even more important for older women since they are more likely to experience barriers (like financial issues or spatial inequalities) that may hinder their outdoor physical activity on the one hand, and to be motivated to engage with the public realm on the other (e.g., because of their domestic shopping and grandchild monitoring responsibilities). The built environment is highly effect on mobility, independence and quality of life. It either makes it easier or more difficult for older person to lead a healthy life. Therefore, the physical characteristics of the neighborhood affect the accessibility of older persons, and accordingly, the levels of active aging may change. For this reason, this thesis aims to find the role of accessibility in the active aging of older women who use the physical environment in neighborhoods, specifically the opportunities and places offered by the neighborhood. Two neighborhoods of the Çankaya district in Ankara were selected. These are the İşçi Blokları Neighborhood and the Çukurambar Neighborhood. The physical environment of these two neighborhoods was analyzed and photographed. In addition, a total 24 women aged 65 and older in both neighborhoods were in-depth interviewed. The participants were asked questions about the barriers they encounter when accessing to public open spaces, whether these barriers are related to their health/aging, and whether they find the open spaces in their neighborhoods sufficient in their active aging. Results show that there are different problems in accessibility in both neighborhoods. In addition, participants' desire to age in their neighborhoods was similar for both neighborhoods. This result was found by unpaired t-test. This means that different accessibility problems in both neighborhoods affect active aging of women at the same level.


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Citation Formats
E. Uysal, “The effect of accessibility of the neighborhood facilities on the active aging of older women: a comparative study from Ankara,” M.C.P. - Master of City Planning, Middle East Technical University, 2023.