Article Text

Download PDFPDF
178 Exploring mobility patterns and social assets: informing housing decisions for Canadian older adults
  1. Diogo Mochovitch1,2,
  2. Joshua Goutte1,2,3,
  3. Karine Plourde2,
  4. Roberta de Carvalho Corôa1,2,4,
  5. Louisa Blair1,2,5,
  6. Sabrina Guay-Bélanger1,2,
  7. Allyson Jones5,
  8. Marie Elf6,
  9. Louise Meijering7,
  10. Jodi Sturge8,
  11. Pierre Bérubé9,
  12. Stéphane Roche10,
  13. France Légaré1,2,4
  1. 1Canada Research Chair in Shared Decision Making and Knowledge Mobilization, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2VITAM – Centre de recherche en santé durable, Quebec, QC, Canada
  3. 3Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
  4. 4Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
  5. 5Caregiver and Citizen Partner, Quebec, QC, Canada
  6. 6Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine – Physical Therapy, Alberta University, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  7. 7School of Health and Welfare, Dalarna University, Dalarna, Sweden
  8. 8University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  9. 9University of Twente, Overijssel, Netherlands
  10. 10Greybox Solutions, Montréal, QC, Canada
  11. 11Institut EDS- Institut en environnement, développement, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada


Introduction Decision aids about housing options for older adults overlook mobility patterns and social assets. We explored how Canadian older adults’ home mobility patterns and social health could better inform housing decisions.

Methods In accordance with GRAMMS, we conducted a longitudinal study in Quebec and Alberta with older adults (aged 65 or older) living independently and able to walk. We collected data on mobility and social health as well as sociodemographics, health status and quality of life. Participants documented their mobility patterns for 14 days through a GPS tracker and daily journal, capturing details on destinations, activity purpose, length, type, frequency, duration, and weather. Walking and in-depth interviews offered insights into physical and social assets and obstacles to social health and mobility. Self-administered questionnaires assess sociodemographics, health status and quality of life. Triangulation enriched our findings qualitatively. Lastly, we selected four contrasting participants for activity space maps (2 in Quebec and 2 in Alberta), interpreting GPS data alongside other sources, contributing nuanced perspectives.

Results Of 25 approached, 20 participated, 70% female; mean age 80.4; mean years living in the same neighborhood 15.6 (±7.9). Fourteen used GPS trackers, 9 correctly. All engaged in 4 other data collections: GPS maps showed trips, mainly by car (n=9) and walking (n=5). Two participants also combine the bus in their means of transportation. Daily journals revealed mainly solo travel (n=6). Interviews emphasized physical assets, like libraries and supermarkets (n=10), and notable social assets, such as desired family support (n=13) and neighborhood intimacy (n=14). Winter significantly impacted outdoor activities (n=13).

Discussion Canadian older adults’ home mobility patterns and social health provide useful information that could improve housing decision-making.

Conclusion Our findings show that mobility patterns are important to inform decisions about housing options.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.