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Outdoor environments for older New Zealanders : this dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Diploma of Landscape Architecture at the University of Canterbury

Brown, Bronwyn
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::120107 Landscape Architecture , ANZSRC::1603 Demography
It is well recognised that today people are not only living longer than their forebears, but they are able to enjoy a healthier more flexible period of retirement than previous generations. Life tables show on average that people can expect a further 17 years of life following retirement at sixty, which constitutes approximately 22 percent of a total life-span of 77 years. (1) During these retirement years activities tend to focus more on the home environment, and therefore the quality of this environment contributes significantly to the quality of life enjoyed. The general objective of this dissertation is to look closely at the type of home outdoor environments that older New Zealanders are living in, to better understand and identify specific problems and issues of those who are currently living in privately owned homes. Given the increasing tendency towards a higher proportion of elderly people in our community (2), and the pressure upon existing housing from all sectors of our community, it is important that we provide for the specific needs of all New Zealanders. This should not only result in a more efficient use of existing resources, cut also provide environments better suited to individual needs. This dissertation is solely concerned with the people living in ordinary residences and does not include retirement villages, group elderly housing or council housing for the elderly. Whilst some of the following discussion may readily translate to such circumstances, and be equally applicable, all data collection is based on the older person living in the family home. Opinion was sought from older New Zealanders regarding their attitudes towards home and community by means of a comprehensive questionnaire and informal interviews. Their opinions and concerns have contributed greatly to the content of this dissertation, and underlie many of the conclusions reached. (See appendix I for a copy of the questionnaire)
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