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How is Respect and Social Inclusion Conceptualised by Older Adults in an Aspiring Age-Friendly City? A Photovoice Study in the North-West of England

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Age-Friendly Cities (AFC) Guide classifies key characteristics of an AFC according to eight domains. Whilst much age-friendly practice and research have focused on domains of the physical environment, those related to the social environment have received less attention. Using a Photovoice methodology within a Community-Based Participatory Research approach, our study draws on photographs, interviews and focus groups among 26 older Liverpool residents (60+ years) to explore how the city promotes respect and social inclusion (a core WHO AFC domain). Being involved in this photovoice study allowed older adults across four contrasting neighbourhoods to communicate their perspectives directly to Liverpool’s policymakers, service providers and third sector organisations. This paper provides novel insights into how: (i) respect and social inclusion are shaped by aspects of both physical and social environment, and (ii) the accessibility, affordability and sociability of physical spaces and wider social processes (e.g., neighbourhood fragmentation) contributed to or hindered participants’ health, wellbeing, intergenerational relationships and feelings of inclusion and connection. Our findings suggest that respect and social inclusion are relevant across all eight domains of the WHO AFC Guide. It is core to an AFC and should be reflected in both city-based policies and evaluations.

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Age-Friendly Cities; photovoice; qualitative research; healthy ageing; active ageing; older people; social inclusion; participation; UK
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Sara Ronzi
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