Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Marita Kloseck


Increases in population ageing and urbanization have led to development of age-friendly cities to ensure that communities meet the needs of older adults. Community support and health services are particularly important in maintaining health and independence, especially for those in advanced age whose needs are often greater. While much has been done to integrate the needs of younger, healthier older adults, to date there has been little focus on the needs of frailer older adults. This phenomenological study explored the lived experience of community-dwelling individuals, 80 years of age and older, using community support and health services. In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample (n=10) of older individuals. Hermeneutic thematic analysis revealed three central themes related to the use of community support and health services in maintaining independence: life experiences and circumstances, personal compensatory mechanisms, and community design and structure. Implications for age-friendly development and further research are discussed.