Social Inclusion of the Elderly by Everyday Mobility

Helga Pelizäus-Hoffmeister


Everyday mobility—the ability to move around freely in one's  neighborhood—is discussed as an essential foundation of social participation in current mobility research. Numerous studies indicate that mobility decreases as age increases. The decrease is associated with a loss of social integration and declining quality of life. Nevertheless, research is lacking about how individuals cope with decreased mobility, and how changes are initiated in the light of individual perceptions and beliefs.

The goal of the research reported in this article was to explore, using qualitative methods, how changes in mobility can be conceptualized on the basis of subjective constructions and actions in a theory emerging from the data—as defined by grounded theory methodology—which can describe and explain the process. In a second step I developed prospective assumptions about the way in which the use of a mobility assistant, which was developed within the framework of a project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research—could influence the perceptions and beliefs of older people and could promote in this way their mobility.



everyday mobility; the elderly; grounded theory methodology; activity space analysis; social area analysis; mobility barriers, age and technology

Copyright (c) 2013 Helga Pelizäus-Hoffmeister

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