256016 Community engAGEment for age-friendly environments

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:18 PM - 1:30 PM

Deborah H. John, PhD , School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Extension Family and Community Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Katherine Gunter, PhD , School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
People across the U.S. and Oregon are aging, which may burden the current individual, family, and community resources. Accessibility, availability, and affordability of place-based resources affects the ability of residents, as they grow older, to continue to live and thrive in their local community. engAGE in Community is a community-campus partnership with a goal to establish Clackamas County as an age-friendly place where adults can age actively and successfully in their residence and community of choice. The purpose of this community-based participatory action research (CPAR) project was to partner with local people within local communities to identify attributes of the physical, social, and service environments, defined according to the World Health Organization‘s model of age-friendly communities, that support or hinder the ability of all residents to age in place. For this study we applied a CPAR model and MAPPS (Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys) technology with an initial focus on identifying environmental attributes across rural communities (n=5) related to age-friendly topic areas as experienced by local residents (n=238). Our approach focused on involving local residents and stakeholders to build capacity for action, followed by participatory processes involving photography, GIS mapping, photo elucidation, consensus building, and data-driven planning to facilitate community change. Thematic results of the CPAR, emergent community supports or barriers to place-based aging, will be discussed relative to differences between telephone survey data measuring County residents' (n=397) perceptions and importance of community resources that support healthy, active aging and community livability.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a new technology for community engagement around issues of health and place 2. Explain the community attributes that influence rural people‘s experience of their local physical, social, and service environments as either supporting or hindering place-based aging.

Keywords: Participatory Action Research, Rural Communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of grant-funded projects focusing on health and place. Among my scientific interests are how attributes of people intearct with attibutes of place across social ecological levels to influence health behaviors and population health outcomes.
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.