Now available: Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America, by Philip B. Stafford, Ph.D., Praeger Press.
The work is a labor of love, reaching back to memorable encounters with amazing elders over thirty years. It argues that a deep understanding of the experience of home and place is an essential starting point for discussions about “aging in place”, which too often equate “place” with “house.” It provides a nice introduction to the use of ethnography and participatory methods towards understanding the lifeworld of elders in Bloomington, where I live. It also provides the first book length treatment of the national movement towards elder-friendly communities. My hope is that this will provide the impetus for a serious critique of our current model of aging, which focuses primarily on the individual aging body and not on the experience of aging in community. It suggests that aging is not IN the body, but in the RELATIONSHIP between the body and its environment – which is an environment replete with meaning and memory.
Oh… and about that title: did you know that more elders live in suburbs than in cities and towns combined? Are suburbs very well designed for growing old? Read the book and you’ll find out!
I hope you will find the book stimulating. If so, add a comment and let’s have a discussion !