Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Baby boomers are living longer, and as they age, they will need more supportive services that may include housing, mobility, nutrition, personal care, or health care. Despite the studies that have been conducted on baby boomers aging in place (choosing to stay in their home versus move to an institution), the focus has been on the old and frail and very little has been done to address the lifestyle of active (physically functioning) baby boomers. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived, shared experiences of active baby boomers regarding their beliefs and attitudes about aging in place and the implications of this decision. The theoretical foundation of the study was based on Atchley's continuity theory. Data were gathered through in-person, semi-structured interviews with 11 participants, age 65 and older, living in a coastal area of a southern state. Data from the interviews were inductively coded and then organized around key themes. The themes from the content analysis indicated that the participants were embracing the concept of aging in place and adjusting to their limitations (i.e. physical, financial, emotional, and/or environmental) when present. Identified barriers to aging in place were access to services (specifically medical and in-home care), financial constraints, and the inability to drive or inaccessibility of transportation. This study contributes to positive social change by providing policymakers and administrators with information to strengthen the argument that the current social service delivery system is overburdened and may not meet the demands of this population in order for them to maintain their independence and autonomy. Additionally, this study raises awareness among policymakers that driving longer will in itself possess its own challenges such as visibility concerns and roadway design not conducive to aging adults.