Purpose: This cross-national qualitative study explores how very old people reflect upon relocation and aging in place.
Design and Methods: Swedish and German data are utilized in this study. About 80 community-living participants, 80-89 years of age, were interviewed with open-ended questions at home by trained interviewers. The interviews were analyzed by using conventional qualitative content analyses.
Results: Reasoning about relocation or aging in place in very old age is a complex and ambivalent matter. A variety of reflections, emotions, and behaviors for and against a move are revealed. Reasons to move reflect the urge to maintain independence, to stay in control, and to avoid loneliness. This is mainly expressed reactively. Reasons not to move reflect a strong attachment to the home and neighborhood. Moreover, reasons not to move reflect practical aspect such as economy and strain, as well as fear of losing continuity of habits and routines.
Implications: There is a need for society to develop counseling systems to meet very old people's ambivalence and practical considerations to move or not to move. Thus, the ambivalence to stay put or to relocate needs to be further explored from an applied perspective by also taking nonmovers into account.
- Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktning (30502)