Strong social networks can reduce social isolation and enhance the well-being of older adults. Urban design, housing policy and eldercare programmes promote the creation of such social networks for “ageing-in-place”. However, this idea of ‘ageing in place’ can be limiting because older adults’ social networks are neither restricted to their own neighbourhoods nor to their family and neighbours. Other friendships and work relationships are also an important part of older adults’ social networks.
This project examines the social and geographical characteristics of older adults’ social networks. The research team will combine Social Network Analysis with Qualitative Research and Geographic Information Science (GIS), thus blending large scale numerical survey data with deep, targeted qualitative research that is then mapped to real spaces. The team will compare two neighbourhoods in Singapore, looking at how older adults’ networks of social care are shaped by their surroundings, as well as extends beyond. The research contributes towards extending knowledge on ageing and social networks theories, advancing qualitative GIS methods, while simultaneously integrating them into survey research.