In British Columbia, Canada, older adults make up 40% of the rural populous. Rural communities have been reported to have reduced quantity and accessibility to formal services and supports in comparison to their urban counterparts. With the anticipated increase of older adult populations in Canada and recent implications from the COVID-19 pandemic, determining programs and policies to support older adults aging in the community with reduced access is vital to their quality of life. To address this, two project objectives are completed through this capstone project. The first is a scoping review, which identifies recent empirical literature focused on psychosocial factors, and the characteristics of these processes, related to aging in place for urban and rural older adults. The term psychosocial, is defined as individual, social and environmental processes that impact behaviour. Three themes related to psychosocial processes and aging in place were identified, (1) social connections, (2) continuity and sense of identity and, (3) independence, safety and security. Time and familiarity are key characteristics related to these processes. Limited research was found addressing rural oldest-old (age 80 years or older) community-dwelling older adults and how the presence of psychosocial factors may impact or relate to their quality-of-life aging in place. To address this gap in literature, a CIHR project grant research proposal is presented to study (1) the lived experience of oldest-old adults residing in rural communities in British Columbia and (2) how psychosocial factors may impact or relate to this group of older adults' experience aging in place or quality of life.
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Thesis advisor: Mahmood, Atiya
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