Publication: Journal of Aging and Environment
Publication Title: Characteristics of Home and Neighborhood Built Environments During COVID-19 for Older Adults in the United States and Italy
Authors: Diana C. Anderson, Renée E. DeCaro, Myna Chadalavada, Anna Marin, Adolfo Di Crosta, Irene Ceccato, Pasquale La Malva, Nicola Mammarella, Alberto Di Domenico, Katherine W. Turk, Rocco Palumbo & Andrew E. Budson
Date: Online Oct 25, 2023
The home and neighborhood environments impact the social and mental health of older adults, yet little research has addressed the various contexts that can affect these relationships, such as community culture, built and natural elements, and demographics. This survey-based study examined community-dwelling older adults’ access and use of transitional outdoor/indoor space (i.e., porches, gardens, windows, etc.), and how that use was related to health variables and changed with the pandemic in two available samples of older adults in the United States and Italy. Use of both outdoor and indoor space was found to be more individualistic in Boston, in the United States, than in Chieti, Italy, where use of these areas with others was more common. Results suggest that window viewing from within the home may be an activity that individuals in Italy engage in when feeling lonely. Changes in the use of home and community space after COVID-19 were minimal; only in the United States did individuals report greater time indoors since the onset of the pandemic. Use of the built environment in and around the home by older adults was found to have multidimensional characteristics between the United States and Italy, with the potential to foster connections and improve well-being.
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