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Reflections on a Professional Journey to Making Home Life Better for Older Adults and Families

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In this essay, I assume the stance of a "reflective practitioner," critically examining my research practices and trajectory to gain insight as to how I have engaged in and possibly impacted Environmental Gerontology. I first examine the "what" (description of what has been done), then examine the "so what" (factors contributing to success [or not] and key achievements), and finally, the "now what" (logical next steps or vision for future endeavors). I characterize my stance towards Environmental Gerontology as a consumer or "user" of its concepts and principles. My research focus is on employing key environmental constructs to develop and evaluate biopsychosocial environmental interventions to improve the "good life" or quality of life of older adults and family caregivers. I have considered the socio-physical environment from varied roles: as cause of behavioral or psychological outcomes; as moderator of outcomes, as mediator of outcomes, as an outcome itself, or as the context in which behavioral, cognitive, and affective processes unfold. I suggest that modifying physical and social environments results in clinically meaningful benefits to older adults and caregivers; and that understandings from Environmental Gerontology may advance the science of implementing interventions in real-world community, clinical, and service settings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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