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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Melissa L. Cannon

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to understand the potential use of a community senior center and university campus as third places, where people can gather informally for psychological support through a shared sense of grounding, ease, comfort, friendliness, and mutual concern (Oldenburg, 1999). Third places can help individuals age in place by contributing to the age-friendliness of communities (Banning, Clemons, McKelfresh, & Gibbs, 2010). Through a case study design, researchers used mixed methods to collect data from senior center members, senior center directors, and university administrators. Data were analyzed utilizing focused coding of open-ended responses and descriptive statistics from the quantitative data. Findings revealed implications related to lack of awareness, communication, and perceived barriers, contributing to overall goals of supporting older adults aging in place through creating opportunities for them to feel engaged and empowered in their communities.

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Urban Studies Commons

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