VULNERABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS OF OLDER ADULTS IN DEPRIVED NEIGHBOURHOODS IN THE NETHERLANDS
Recent policy rests on the assumption that it is better for older people to live independently within the community for as long as possible. A related assumption is that the local community forms a supportive context for vulnerable older people; the environment can compensate the limitations resulting from growing old. However, Lawton's ‘environmental docility hypothesis’, in which the interaction between characteristics of the environment and a person's competence is described, forms a reason to be more careful with this assumption. In a survey of 1,939 Dutch older adults carried out in 2002–2003 this hypothesis is explored for older people living in deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods. The results of the analysis seem to be in line with Lawton's hypothesis. In non-deprived neighbourhoods, no differences in environmental stress are found between vulnerable and non-vulnerable older adults, while in deprived neighbourhoods vulnerable older adults experience significantly higher levels of environmental stress than non-vulnerable older adults.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: AMIDSt, Amsterdam institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam. s: ; [email protected]; [email protected], Email: [email protected]
Publication date: 01 February 2008