Exploring Age-Friendly Environments in Rural Settings: Case Study from Finnish Lapland
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The environment plays a vital role in ensuring quality of life for older people in the rural north. In this chapter, I examine how older people identify the characteristics of age-friendly environments in rural settings. “Age-friendly environment” can be understood in different ways: as a natural, human-built or social environment. Analysing interviews conducted in the Enontekiö region of northern Finland, I ascertain older people’s perceptions and understanding of what constitutes an age-friendly environment. In addition, I investigate the changes and challenges which older persons encounter in their daily lives that affect the potential of their environment to be age-friendly. The analysis reveals that the key elements of such an environment are good forest, land, fresh water, good connections with family, neighbours, and the community, and an accommodating built environment.
KeywordsFinnish Lapland Wellbeing Age-friendly environment Rural setting Northern perspective Older people
I acknowledge and thank the participants from Luppokoti and participants from Peltovuoma village who shared their experiences. I thank Satu Marja, the director of Luppokoti and Sirpa Helena Seppälä from Peltovuoma village for their cooperations.
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