206095 Seeing the city through their eyes – Learning from older immigrants about how to make New York more 'age-friendly'

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:15 PM

Paula J. Gardner, PhD , Division of Health Policy, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Background: Global migration, urbanization and population aging are demographic trends with significant public health implications. To prepare for the impact of these phenomena, policy-makers, planners and researchers are asking “how can we make our cities age-friendly”. In urban centers such as New York where there are substantial numbers of migrants, there is a recognized need to understand the experience of age-friendliness from the perspective of older immigrants. Purpose: Building on the work of the WHO and the Age-Friendly New York Initiative, the purpose of this study was to identify ways in which New York can be a supportive, “age friendly” city for is growing older immigrant population. Methods: Data was collected using focus group interviews with older adults from Jamaica, Peurto Rico, Dominican Republic, Russia and China. Adapting the WHO Age-Friendly interview guide, questions were added in each topic area (e.g., communication, transportation, social participation) to capture the immigrant experience. Data was analyzed using NVIVO (analytic software that allows users to code common themes and analyze data across participants), the principles of grounded theory, and assessed using established standards of rigor for qualitative research. Results: Analysis reveals older immigrants face unique challenges as they age some of which (such as lack of information or barriers to communication) may be effectively addressed with programs, interventions and policy. Findings make a contribution to public health knowledge and practice and will be used to identify and promote policies and programs that support efforts to make New York an age-friendly place for all residents.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the concept of an “age-friendly city” 2. Identify several barriers and supports faced by immigrants aging in New York City 3. Describe how findings contribute to efforts to make New York age-friendly

Keywords: Urban Health, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in public health; I am one of the primary investigators on this project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.