How do older women perceive their safety in Iranian urban outdoor environments?

A Lak* (Corresponding Author), R Aghamolaei, P K Myint

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

According to the elders’ health as the main priority of ageing in place, recent research focuses on a better understanding of the elders’ needs of perceived safety especially the older women as the vulnerable group in urban open environments. This study aims to explore the perception of older women about safety and its related features in outdoor spaces according to promoting Active Ageing. We carried out a mixed-method study in which the data collection was conducted through content analysis. Semi-structured interviews were held with 54 older women (mean age 78.40 years). The participants were recruited in open spaces of Tehran applying the purposeful sampling and continued saturation during summer and fall of 2018. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The qualitative content analysis was used to extract sub-themes and main themes. In order to prioritize the extracted concepts, analytic hierarchy process was applied in quantitative analysis (AHP) in the quantitative phase. According to results, the perception of safety in female elders can be described in three main themes consisting of psychological, functional and environmental safety, in that order of priority. Psychological safety includes fears of falling, getting lost, social limitation, anxiety, and social support or capital, while functional safety consists of concerns about public transportation, walkability, and physical activity. Finally, environmental safety comprises of apprehension of road traffic accidence, criminals, upkeep, incivility, and nuisance. Our findings provide both personal and environmental features that can be targeted and require implementation from policymakers and urban developers to meet the needs of growing older vulnerable population to achieve global active ageing goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-433
Number of pages23
JournalAgeing International
Volume45
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Active ageing
  • Older women
  • Open spaces
  • Perceived safety
  • Urban development, urban spaces

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