• Lessons Learned from Community-Based Participatory Research: Establishing a Partnership to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Aging-in-Place.

      King, Diane (PubMed, 6/1/2017)
      BACKGROUND: Due to a history of oppression and lack of culturally competent services, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors experience barriers to accessing social services. Tailoring an evidence-based ageing in place intervention to address the unique needs of LGBT seniors may decrease the isolation often faced by this population. OBJECTIVE: To describe practices used in the formation of a community-based participatory research (CBPR), partnership involving social workers, health services providers, researchers and community members who engaged to establish a LGBT ageing in place model called Seniors Using Supports To Age In Neighborhoods (SUSTAIN). METHODS: A case study approach was employed to describe the partnership development process by reflecting on past meeting minutes, progress reports and interviews with SUSTAIN's partners. RESULTS: Key partnering practices utilized by SUSTAIN included (i) development of a shared commitment and vision; (ii) identifying partners with intersecting spheres of influence in multiple communities of identity (ageing services, LGBT, health research); (iii) attending to power dynamics (e.g. equitable sharing of funds); and (iv) building community capacity through reciprocal learning. Although the partnership dissolved after 4 years, it served as a successful catalyst to establish community programming to support ageing in place for LGBT seniors. CONCLUSION: Multi-sector stakeholder involvement with capacity to connect communities and use frameworks that formalize equity was key to establishing a high-trust CBPR partnership. However, lack of focus on external forces impacting each partner (e.g. individual organizational strategic planning, community funding agency perspectives) ultimately led to dissolution of the SUSTAIN partnership even though implementation of community programming was realized.
    • Safe, Affordable, Convenient: Environmental Features of Malls and Other Public Spaces Used by Older Adults for Walking.

      King, Diane (PubMed, 7/14/2015)
      BACKGROUND: Midlife and older adults use shopping malls for walking, but little research has examined mall characteristics that contribute to their walkability. METHODS: We used modified versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN) Environmental Audit and the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool to systematically observe 443 walkers in 10 shopping malls. We also observed 87 walkers in 6 community-based nonmall/nongym venues where older adults routinely walked for physical activity. RESULTS: All venues had public transit stops and accessible parking. All malls and 67% of nonmalls had way finding aids, and most venues (81%) had an established circuitous walking route and clean, well-maintained public restrooms (94%). All venues had level floor surfaces, and one-half had benches along the walking route. Venues varied in hours of access, programming, tripping hazards, traffic control near entrances, and lighting. CONCLUSIONS: Despite diversity in location, size, and purpose, the mall and nonmall venues audited shared numerous environmental features known to promote walking in older adults and few barriers to walking. Future research should consider programmatic features and outreach strategies to expand the use of malls and other suitable public spaces for walking.