Oh, the PLAYces You’ll Go: A Comparative Analysis of Public and Private Older Adult Play Spaces

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Date
2024-05-07
Authors
Gryfe, Marley
Keyword
Abstract
Older adults over the age of 65 have become the fastest growing age group in the world. This demographic shift requires age-friendly planning that not only supports but also stimulates the aging population. One age-friendly planning approach to engage and excite older adults that is currently overlooked is play. My study aims to address the play gap in age-friendly planning literature by exploring the relationship between older adults with both public and private play spaces. To gain insights into the relationship between older adults and play spaces, a mixed-methods single case study analysis was conducted of Century Village East (CVE), an age-restricted community in Florida. Results from the analysis of naturalistic observations of 245 older adults across three play spaces and ten semi-structured interviews with seasonal residents provided valuable insights on enabling and limiting features of older adult play spaces. Through studying play in a saturated older adult-oriented environment, I was able to develop recommendations for designing public spaces to avoid elements that constrain play, socialization, and physical activity while ensuring the inclusion of play features that foster positive outcomes.
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