Colocation of older adults with successful aging based on objective and subjective measures

Ellen K. Cromley, Maureen Wilson-Genderson, Zachary Christman, Rachel A. Pruchno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aging of the U.S. and world populations highlights the need to understand how and where people age successfully. Older adults with chronic conditions may rate themselves subjectively as aging successfully despite their objective limitations. A typology of successful aging combining objective and subjective criteria has been tested, but spatial patterns in these dimensions have not been widely studied. Our research explores patterns of successful and unsuccessful aging using the colocation quotient, a measure of spatial association among categories in a population. The colocation quotient assesses the degree to which older adults who age successfully are likely to live near other adults who do not age successfully. Data on 5576 participants in the ORANJ BOWLSM survey, a statewide survey of older adults in New Jersey, were geocoded to the Census block level. Each participant was scored as aging successfully or not on each of the two dimensions. Global and local patterns of colocation of successful and unsuccessful aging in individuals were calculated based on the objective and subjective measures separately and then compared. The analysis reveals a strong regional pattern. In northern New Jersey and along the southeast coast, successful older adults on both dimensions were more likely to be colocated with subjectively unsuccessful older adults. In southern New Jersey, especially in the southwest, successful older adults on both dimensions were more likely to be colocated with the objectively unsuccessful. Spatial analysis of colocation can inform needs assessment for the growing population of older adults by identifying where older people age successfully and where they are aging unsuccessfully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Geography
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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