Original Research

Out-of-home life spaces valued by urban older adults with limited income

Hester M. van Biljon, Lana van Niekerk, Nicola A. Plastow, Lizette Swanepoel
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1177 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1177 | © 2023 Hester M. van Biljon, Lana van Niekerk, Nicola A. Plastow, Lizette Swanepoel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2022 | Published: 16 May 2023

About the author(s)

Hester M. van Biljon, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Lana van Niekerk, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Nicola A. Plastow, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Lizette Swanepoel, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Access to, and occupational performance in, out-of-home-life-spaces is linked to health, wellbeing and quality of life for older adults. There is little evidence of how this relates to older adults with limited resources in an African urban context.

Objectives: To describe the out-of-home-life-spaces accessed and valued by older adults with limited resources, living in an urban South African setting.

Method: An exploratory concurrent mixed methods study saw 84 rehabilitation clinicians conduct 393 face-to-face interviews with older adults. Clinicians produced reflective field notes and participated in focus groups. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics with SPSS Version X. Qualitative data were analysed through inductive content analysis.

Results: Older adults walked, used mini-bus taxis or private vehicles to get to places of worship, medical facilities, shops, family and friends and special interest gatherings on a weekly or monthly frequency. Lack of funds was the main barrier. Older adults aspired to travel, go on holiday and to visit out-of-town family homes.

Conclusion: Exploring the daily lived experience of older, urban South Africans with limited resources brought to light the value they attribute to participation in activities that contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities. Such activities are found in a variety of life spaces.

Contribution: Results could inform policy makers and service providers in their planning of community mobility, transportation services and health care, for older adults with limited resources.


Keywords

life spaces; life roles; out-of-town family; quality of life; places of worship; communities and society; public healthcare rehabilitation; medical facilities.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

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