This study examines how residents, staff and visitors of long-term care facilities experience accessibility in and around long-term care facilities in the Belgian province East-Flanders, and which barriers to mobility they experience.
Both quantitative and qualitative designs were used. The preliminary quantitative survey (N=88 long-term care facilities) presented an overall view on accessibility. Based on the results thereof we selected 4 care facilities where participants reported relatively high levels of accessibility. In each one we conducted 3 focus groups with respectively residents (N=24), staff (N=22) and visitors (N=19). The focus groups aimed to give a deeper insight in the meaning of accessibility and mobility.

The findings demonstrated five important dimensions of mobility of residents, visitors and staff of long-term care facilities: (1) Internal spatial component (e.g. importance of accommodation for social interaction nearby the resident's room); (2) external spatial component (e.g. the location and the age-friendly design of the neighborhood of long-term care facilities); (3) transportation component (e.g. low use-rate of public transportation); (4) Individual component (e.g. importance of the emotional aspect of the life in long-term care facilities); and (5) time component (e.g. time of season).
Our findings stress the need for recognizing the various multidimensional facets of mobility in and around long-term care facilities. Simple guidelines and recommendations are therefore inadequate. Nevertheless, this study gives insight into the meaning of mobility and gives handles to improve the mobility for residents, visitors and staff.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2014
Event67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America - Washington, D.C., United States
Duration: 5 Nov 20149 Nov 2014


Conference67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America
CountryUnited States
CityWashington, D.C.

    Research areas

  • Mobility, long-term care facilities, residents, staff and visitors perspectives

ID: 2528175