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A Sustainability Assessment of City Environment With Reference To Senior Citizens

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The quality of life in a city depends on its capacity to generate, maintain, and increase the well-being of its citizens a major portion of which is elderly people in India. In the present context city environment should be capable to respond to
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  A Sustainability Assessment of City Environment With Reference To Senior Citizens Dr. Vasudha A. Gokhale, Ar. Banani Benerjee Abstract The quality of life in a city depends on its capacity to generate, maintain, and increase the well!eing of itsciti"ens a major portion of which is elderly people in #ndia. #n the present conte$t city en%ironment should!e capa!le to respond to growing social and care ser%ice needs of elderly population. Architects, plannersshould !e aware of the importance of intergenerational relationships, which !uild a stronger and moresocially equili!rated society. Time has come to adopt demographic, sociocultural, economic andtechnological forces for shaping age friendly landscape and shifting our preferences, perceptions andaspirations towards aging as determinant phenomenon. This paper put forth issues related to li%ingen%ironment in cites with reference to aging population. &$isting status of architectural attri!utes whichare responsi!le for design and de%elopment of li%ing spaces in city of 'une is presented which aresupposed to !e reshaped in a socially sensiti%e and sustaina!le ways. #t is a cogniti%e e%aluation of li%ingen%ironment in selected study area of city of 'une, aimed to study the possi!le influence of age on anormal elderly population. The challenging role of architects planners and policy makers in enriching thee$perience of aging in today(s society is discussed leading to a graceful aging. Keywords:  'une, &lderly, Adulthood, life e$pectancy, )o!ility. Introduction #t has !een estimated that, during the *++--/ period, the world(s elderly population 0ages 1/and a!o%e2 will more than dou!le. Because of population aging, elderly dependency ratios theratio of the population ages 1/ and o%er to the working age population 0ages */ to 132 will risein e%ery major world region during the ne$t -/ years. The 4orld 5ealth 6rgani"ation, hasrecogni"ed the need for cities to prepare for an ageing population and in -* created theGlo!al 7etwork of Age8riendly 9ities. This is aimed to pro%ide technical support and training,link cities to the 456 and each other, facilitate the e$change of information and !est practices,and ensure that inter%entions taken to impro%e the li%es of older people are appropriate,sustaina!le, and costeffecti%e. The idea is to pro%ide elderly population a healthy li%ingen%ironment with increased social interaction, physical acti%ity, and entertainment options. Theresult is a more healthy, inclusi%e, and sustaina!le ur!an social en%ironment. !Sustainable Communities The concept of sustaina!le de%elopment must put an emphasis on: • The efficient planned use of ur!an space, • )inimi"ing the consumption of essential natural capital, and • )ultiplying social capital#n recent years a lot of efforts ha%e !een taken to take care of !est utili"ation of ur!an spaceand natural resources while social capital is not addressed as one of the major parameter toachie%e sustaina!ility in li%ing en%ironment. ;ocial 9apital can !e defined as human capitalwhich includes aging population(s acquired knowledge and skills. &lderly people are supposedto !e a resource for their families, communities and economies in supporti%e and ena!ling li%ingen%ironments for a country. 9onsidering acti%e ageing as a lifelong process shaped !y se%eralfactors that, alone and acting together, it is imperati%e to take action for the promotion of healthylifestyles and ur!an security for older adults. 9ities ha%e to !e reshaped to encourage acti%e  ageing !y optimi"ing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance thequality of life for senior citi"ens. #n practical terms, an agefriendly city adapts its structures andser%ices to !e accessi!le to and inclusi%e of older people with %arying needs and capacities.The most rapid rise in the elderly population is taking place in de%eloping countries, where theincrease in the num!er of people 1/ and older is more than dou!le the rate in de%elopednations. <ast year, =*= million, or 1- percent, of the world(s elderly li%ed in de%eloping countries,a num!er that is projected to rise to more than * !illion, >1 percent of the world(s 1/ando%er population. The challenges are similar in !oth de%eloped and de%eloping countries in the sensethat with an aging society, caretaking will !e a serious challenge for the society and the family.9hanges in family structure and social organi"ation will compound the pro!lem of caring for theelderly in de%eloping countries. The e$tended family has !een an e$tremely important part of maintaining the elderly in their homes. Because of the constraints and crises these countriesha%e faced, e$tended family mem!ers ha%e mo%ed away, lea%ing the elderly more on their own. Conce"t of Sustainability in #ate Adulthood Two important theories of how people respond to old age namely acti%ity theory anddisengagement theory indicate the primary tendencies and goals to late adulthood in our society. A major pro!lem is that far too few oldsters ha%e e%er !een prepared, socially or psychologically, for the adjustments that must !e made in the later years. 8ar too many menrefuse to face the fact that they will ha%e to retire. )ore important than any other single factor isthe old person?s need for a community of interests. 7ature seems to ha%e ordained that thosewho a!dicate from life socially will soon a!dicate from life physically. To a%oid these a!dicationsit is imperati%e to keep the aged socially acti%e. <ate adulthood is the most pro!lematic stage of life as human !eing emphasis on youth and growth and a%oids aging. Aging is coupled withphysical psychological and social limitations making it difficult to appreciate the positi%e potentialof old age. &lderly people ha%e to prepare, socially or psychologically, for the adjustments andlots of preparation for aging. )ore important than any other single factor is the old person?sneed for a community of interests. 7ature seems to ha%e ordained that those who a!dicate fromlife socially will soon a!dicate from life physically. #t calls for an allout dri%e to keep the agedsocially acti%e. &lderly people face num!er sociopsychological pro!lems like ;ocial isolationand loneliness, perception on special position gi%en to the retirees as aged persons 08ema*++>2. !$roblems associated with a%in%  A ;ur%ey conducted with a random sample of >/ senior citi"ens !oth men and women to e$plore the dominant pro!lems they face. @espondents were asked to rate the fifteen identified pro!lems on 3 rating scale. 6ut of which following are rated most which affect the well !eing of elderly: • ;ocial isolation and loneliness • <ack of companionship due to demise of spouse  friend • @eligious • 'hysical and mental well !eing, • &conomic matters • @elations with kith and kin, generation gap, and management of the family.  &!' (ehavioral $attern of Elderly #n old age many things go wrong or are ha"y and uncertain the purpose of !eha%ioral patternsof elderly may !ecome to protect themsel%es from em!arrassment or threat, and to defendagainst antagonism real or imagined. They ha%e to face %arious changes !oth physical andpsychological during change situations of uncertainty, am!iguity, and stress a!ound. These aresituations in which a sort of acceptance and learning is required, so they can understand andadopt new roles and responsi!ilities while discarding old ones. According to moderni"ationtheory the status of the elderly decreases proportionately to the le%el of moderni"ation.0)atras,*++2. ;ince modernism stresses youthfulness and contri!utions to the economy throughperforming %alued functions, this assumes a concomitant decline in the status of the elderlysince the elderly no longer perform functions %ital to keeping ali%e the economy. sually theelderly person is fairly healthy with few needs, and is capa!le of helping in the household !yway of cooking, looking after the grandchildren, and managing the less strenuous tasks. Theelderly in this group are physically independent in that they are mo!ile as well as are a!le totake care of their daily needs such as !athing or feeding themsel%es. #t is this group of elderlythat may ha%e pro!a!ly worked !efore and were financially independent. 5owe%er, gi%en a lossof income due to retirement, insufficient sa%ings sources, they are not a!le to achie%e prior lifestyle aspirations. Safety and )obility of Elderly in city Environment 'une, which was once the pensioners paradise with a threelakh plus population of retiredpeople has witnessed a colossal change in the recent past. The !enefit of regular physicalacti%ity is associated with reduced risk of numerous diseases and premature mortality 0Booth-2. #ndeed, up to -C of chronic disease mortality may !e attri!uted to physical inacti%ity. Although some data suggest that the pre%alence of physical inacti%ity is declining, sedentary!eha%ior remains per%asi%e 0 Bennett -12. #t is noticed that neigh!orhood factors such aspercei%ed safety ha%e recei%ed increasing attention as !arriers to physical acti%ity as far aselderly people are concerned. oung #ndi%iduals in ur!an areas generally ha%e a greater likelihood of engaging in certain physical acti%ities 0particularly walking2 for transportationpurposes 0e.g., walking to work, school, or a !us stop2 which in case of retired persons andelderly people does not e$ists. They rather consider walking as 4alking is the most frequently adopted type of regular physical acti%ity !y elderly, particularlyamong some middle and middle higher income groups 0 8igure *,-2 0 8ord *++*2 which need asafe and secure route. )ethodolo%y and *ata Analysis  The sur%ey designed to capture senior citi"en(s %iews on / out of  factors representing acomprehensi%e picture of the city(s agefriendliness, as recommended !y 456 05arrison ->2. • @espect and social inclusion • Transportation • ;ocial participation • 9ommunity support and health ser%ices • 6utdoor spaces and !uildings • 9ommunication and #nformationThis study used a randomi"ed cluster design with *- ur!an residential locations in 'une as theprimary sampling units. The housing sites in%ol%ed range in si"e and layout from highriseapartment !uildings to more dispersed lowrise houses. #n selected sites 0with populations lessthan = persons2, the full population was sampled, and in the sites with populations greater than = persons, sampling was conducted to o!tain an appro$imate =/C sample with aminimum of */ indi%iduals per site. An initial sample si"e of / indi%iduals was drawn. 4ithan o%erall 3C response rate, this ranged from a low of -+C to a high of 3C across theselected residential units. 'articipants pro%ided informed consent and completed the inter%iewer administered sur%ey in either )arathi or &nglish. The factors identified under  heads weregrouped into 3 categories: interior en%ironmental factors - questions, e$terior en%ironmentalfactors = questions, physical factors 3 questions, and psychological factors 3 questions. Asummed total of the items in each category yielded a su!scale score for each factor category.'ossi!le scale scores ranged from = where= questions constituted the scale to 3 when 3questions constituted the scale. )ore than half of the studied sample /3C defined their currentquality of life with positi%e e%aluations, whereas -*C presented a negati%e e%aluation of it. Agroup f -/C defined their current li%es as neutral or ha%ing !oth positi%e and negati%e %alues.The main reason mainly is the lack of adequate leisure facilities, open spaces, pu!liccon%enience in the %icinity. #n addition safety issues with reference to accessi!ilityfall andhealth, traffic conditions, which ad%ersely affecting their mo!ility reducing sociali"ation andkilling time !ecome a pro!lem. ;econd part is aimed to find out whether people in ur!an area of 'une considered them to !esafe in their neigh!orhood, and how much physical acti%ity they took part in. This is to esta!lishwhether there was an association !etween the percei%ed safety le%el and the amount of acti%itytaken, or if the two were unrelated. The respondents asked to answer the question a!out their safety while walking through city with reference to the factors, 'ro!lem of 8all, <ightingconditions, Accessi!ility, Traffic and Gender. The dependent %aria!le is the physical acti%itywhich is assessed !ased on / questions and a / point likart scale was used. 9orrelation 9oefficient of Varia!les;.D.*-=3/<ighting conditions>.**/>*.<ess 'ro!lem of 8all Good Accessi!ility.++*+./>*.gender .+=3>.-=.>**.  Traffic*.*-=.-=.3/+.1*.'hysical acti%ity.**.**./->.=+.=+*. 4ith respect to quality of en%ironment supporting physical acti%ity correlation is found !etweenthe identified factors like lighting conditions pE.* le%el and correlation of =+, traffic p,.*le%el and correlation of =3, <ess 'ro!lem of 8all Good Accessi!ility p, .* and correlation of /->, 7o correlation was found !etween gender and physical acti%ity as a!out C people saidthey did feel safe during the day, !ut there was no association !etween daytime safety andphysical acti%ity. This was the case for !oth men and women.  A crosssectional sur%ey of -/ people aged 1 years and older li%ing in Far%e 7agar, 'une. .Astructured inter%iew conducted with reference to demographics and home safety issues. A homesafety inspection was also undertaken using a predetermined rating format. The results areshown in figure + and * with reference to the type and num!er of ha"ards as far as%ulnera!ility of elderly population in the study area is concerned. Hazardous BathroomsAbsence of handrails ++'+&+,+-+.+/+.--0-'&' 8igure + .,1'&1'1 One HazardTwo to Four HazardsMore 8igure *#t is noticed that a large num!er of older people are li%ing in potentially ha"ardous en%ironments8igure **2. They are e$posed to %arious forces that affect there well !eing in addition to suffer from a num!er of disa!ilities 08igure *-2. Inferences,! 2eed for Social Inte%ration for Elderly "eo"le : ;ocial integration and the strength of social ties are profoundly important predictors of well!eing and longe%ity for elderly people. Thephysical en%ironment is !e designed to promote older adults? social integration with their neigh!ors. )ost of the inner city areas are densely populated resulting lack of outdoor commonspaces which were played a major role in promoting strong ties among neigh!ors and sense of community. ;uch association !etween neigh!orhood open spaces affects the quality of life of elderly 06"sen -2. The e$isting literature suggests that neigh!orhood open space may playan important role for older people in maintaining and enhancing their quality of life 0@omero-/2. This study e$plored what aspects of neigh!orhood open spaces are associated withhealth, life satisfaction, and outdoor acti%ity 0walking2 for older people. The results indicate that
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