Ageing, (im)mobility and falling in urban environments

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Presented by Angela Curl

Lectures, talks and seminars

Geography, Environment and Development Studies Seminar Series

11th Oct 2018 4:00pm to 11th Oct 2018 5:00pm

Cotton 304

This seminar will draw on work from the UK and NZ considering the mobility experiences of older adults in urban environments, particularly those who have fallen over.

This seminar will draw on work from the UK and NZ considering the mobility experiences of older adults in urban environments, particularly those who have fallen over. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalisation in people aged 65 years and over and 30% of those aged 65 years and over fall each year. When older adults fall outside the health and wellbeing consequences can be severe, even if there is no immediate injury. Falls are associated with increased fear of falling, and can reduce the likelihood of going outside. The physical and mental health impacts of immobility include depression, social withdrawal, loneliness and poor cardiac health. Urban environments can increase the risk of falls yet most research focusses on indoor falls. Little is known about where people fall over outdoors. I will talk about the experiences of older adults who have fallen over outdoors, drawing on go-along interviews (UK), a review of spatial datasets (NZ) and some recent survey results on older adults’ outdoor mobility (NZ) to discuss the complex socio-spatial relationships between older adults and urban environments in the context of fall. While the physical environment can cause a fall in the first instance, it is the emotional responses, and subsequent fears of falling which have more significant wellbeing outcomes for older adults.

For more information contact: Amanda Thomas

Speaker Bios

Angela Curl is a lecturer in Health Geography at the University of Canterbury. Angela’s research interests are focused around understanding people’s perceptions and experiences of transport and mobility and how these intersect with the built environment, with a particular focus on older people’s mobilities as a key interface between research in transport and health.