SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 18.1: Williams, B. R., Blizard, T. I., Goode, P. S., & Harvada, C. N. et al. (2014). Exploring the affective domain of the life review process: Facilitators’ interactional strategies for facilitating personhood and social value among older adults with early dementia. Dementia, 13, 498–524.

Learning Objective: 18.1 Examine the contributions of self-concept, personality, and religiosity to older adults’ well-being.

Abstract: We employed an auto-ethnography approach to explore the affective dimension of life review sessions with community-dwelling older military veterans with minor cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia. Using researchers’ analytic memos, we identified facilitators’ interactional strategies that fostered the participant’s sense of personal identity, dignity and social self-worth. Interaction among participant, caregiver, and facilitators evoked a range of emotional responses, offering a window into the affective world of MCI and early dementia. Positive emotional responses outnumbered negative emotional responses by a ratio of two-to-one in the life review sessions; however, negative emotions were more revelatory of current struggles with declines in health and function. Facilitators utilized two interactional strategies, in particular, to foster personhood and social value of participants: focusing on the participant and creating an empathic connection with the participant. Further work is needed to understand the role of emotions in research interactions and to examine the psychosocial mechanisms through which positive affect functions in promoting identity, personhood and social value among persons with MCI and early dementia.

Journal Article 18.2: Garcia, I., & Rua, M. M. (2017). ‘Our interests matter’: Puerto Rican older adults in the age of gentrification. Urban Studies.

Learning Objective: 18.2 Identify social contexts in which older adults live and their influence on development.

Abstract: Gentrification scholarship often focuses on the vulnerability of long-term residents in general (for example homeowners, renters, and low-income older adults) to displacement, though not necessarily with focal attention to how this process specifically affects low-income minority older adults. Using ethnographic data, the authors prioritise and examine the experiences of aging low-income Puerto Ricans who, by way of senior-designated affordable housing, remain in some of Chicago’s most rapidly gentrifying communities. Interviews, focus groups, and participant observations are supplemented with data from the US Census from 1970 to 2010 in order to document some of the demographic changes that have been taking place in what were once majority Puerto Rican neighbourhoods. We find that while low-income older Latina and Latino residents are able to stay in a gentrifying neighbourhood, surrounded by new amenities, they still find limited spaces where they feel welcomed, resulting in indirect displacement. We argue that considerations of aging in place should not only include affordable housing, but should also include an accessible neighbourhood in terms of mixed-uses that support the wants and needs of low-income and minority older adults.