Local environments and older people's health: Dimensions from a comparative qualitative study in Scotland

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Based on the perspectives of older people themselves in three urban neighbourhoods in the Glasgow region of Scotland, this article explores the ways in which the local outdoor physical environment may support or challenge older people's health. Five dimensions are proposed: cleanliness; peacefulness; exercise facilitation; social interaction facilitation; and emotional boost. Consideration is also given to potential equality issues, arguing that such aspects of the local environment may disproportionately affect older people, and also that relevant environmental qualities vary between places. Greater equity and the improved well-being of older people may be achieved through planning and design consideration across sectors.

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