1st Edition

Why Place Matters Place and Place Attachment for Older Adults

By Joyce Weil Copyright 2024
    258 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Why Place Matters reassesses what is known and traditionally understood about the relationship older adults have with place over time and in later life. Building from notions that affirm there is no single "right" place to age or grow older, Joyce Weil fixes her analytical focus on older adults’ agency in assessing place, the ways a person's fit in a place evolves over time, and the complexity and nuance of how older adults derive and also attach meanings to place. Even in the presence of a rich literature and ongoing body of research on older adults and their relationship to place, this book argues for more attention to be paid to the ways in which the interaction of person and place is fluid and dependent on personal and individual circumstances as well as societal and structural ones.

    Drawing upon theoretical explanations and quantitative models, including the author's own integrated measure, and a range of lived experiences and personal accounts of place, this book unpacks and broadens the meanings ascribed to place in later life. Readers across the fields of gerontology, sociology, geography, planning, and health and social care will find a fresh perspective and truly innovative and comprehensive way of thinking about place and aging.

    Introduction: Critically Defining, Reframing, and Measuring Place  Part I: Defining and Redefining Place  1. Models of Place: Past and Present, including Person-Place Fit and Place Attachment  2. Place in Relationship to Primary or Basic Needs/Necessities  Part II: Traditional Place Markers Seen in a New Way  3. Community-Based Services and Resources  4. Neighborhood Changes and Moving  Part III: Place Identity and Place Attachment  5. Place Identity and Place Attachment  6. Community Feeling and Feeling Valued in the Community  Part IV: New Directions and Intersectional Place  7. New Place Models and Future Place Directions  8. Conclusion  Appendix: Methodology Integrating and Measuring the Many Domains of Place: Development of the Person-Place Fit Measure for Older Adults (PPFM-OA)  Index


    Joyce Weil is an associate professor in Towson University’s Gerontology Program. She studies the meaning of place for older adults and applies social research methodologies to the study of aging. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Women & Aging and board member for the Gerontologist and for Gerontology & Geriatrics Education. In addition to articles, like those in the Gerontologist, Research on Aging, Ageing & Society, and City & Community, she is the author of The New Neighborhood Senior Center, Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology, and Race and the Lifecourse.

    Centering the voices and choices of older adults, Joyce Weil’s new text Why Place Matters: Place and Place Attachment for Older Adults offers a comprehensive review of empirical and theoretical models of person-place fit that have informed her Evolving Place Framework. Through descriptive evidence-based narratives, the diversity of late life questions for where, and maybe more importantly, for how one wants to live are showcased. This is an important text for those interested in incorporating the lived experiences of older adults into our current conceptualizations of place attachment and understanding what it means to be aging in the right place.

    Sarah Canham, Associate Professor, College of Social Work, University of Utah.

    Where is the best place to grow old? Joyce Weil skillfully demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all place. Why Place Matters importantly moves beyond static notions of aging in place to richly layer theory and lived experience in a new and complex reframing of 'place' in later life.

    Jessica Finlay, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder