ERIC Number: EJ910478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Mobility in Older Adults: A Comprehensive Framework
Webber, Sandra C.; Porter, Michelle M.; Menec, Verena H.
Gerontologist, v50 n4 p443-450 Aug 2010
Mobility is fundamental to active aging and is intimately linked to health status and quality of life. Although there is widespread acceptance regarding the importance of mobility in older adults, there have been few attempts to comprehensively portray mobility, and research has to a large extent been discipline specific. In this article, a new theoretical framework for mobility is presented with the goals of raising awareness of the complexity of factors that influence mobility and stimulating new integrative and interdisciplinary research ideas. Mobility is broadly defined as the ability to move oneself (e.g., by walking, by using assistive devices, or by using transportation) within community environments that expand from one's home, to the neighborhood, and to regions beyond. The concept of mobility is portrayed through 5 fundamental categories of determinants (cognitive, psychosocial, physical, environmental, and financial), with gender, culture, and biography (personal life history) conceptualized as critical crosscutting influences. Each category of determinants consists of an increasing number of factors, demonstrating greater complexity, as the mobility environment expands farther from the home. The framework illustrates how mobility impairments can lead to limitations in accessing different life-spaces and stresses the associations among determinants that influence mobility. By bridging disciplines and representing mobility in an inclusive manner, the model suggests that research needs to be more interdisciplinary and current mobility findings should be interpreted more comprehensively, and new more complex strategies should be developed to address mobility concerns.
Descriptors: Research Needs, Health Conditions, Quality of Life, Older Adults, Biographies, Assistive Technology, Physical Mobility
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A