The problems and possibilities of mobility for home-based elders in New Zealand

Juliana Ruth Mansvelt


Physical immobility can be a means of social and spatial exclusion. Qualitative interviews with 19 home-based elders aged 65-96 about their interactions with a range of public and private service providers show that concepts of mobility are not dependent on the physical ability to move, but centre on the ways in which people are able to, as part of socio-technical networks, connect with others and make things flow both within and across the boundaries of home. In highlighting three themes (getting out, letting in and finding a way) we suggest that home-based elders are not inactive or immobile, rather their mobile practices centre on connection rather than corporeal travel. A relational view of mobility as ‘connection’ which is ‘more than human’ consequently enables us to understand the problems and possibilities of being differently mobile and the practical implications of this.


ageing, mobility, home-based, connection

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