Age-friendly environments in the stories of older people in the Finnish Arctic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Research on age-friendly environments (AFEs) lacks an account of the Nordic North by the diverse older population of that region. This chapter addresses this gap, asking (a) what are the particular elements of an AFE that older people (native Finns, immigrants and Sámi) consider important for their daily life; and (b) what are the problems and challenges that create distances for the older population and do these differ among native Finns, immigrants and Sámi?

After first discussing the concept of an AFE and distance for groups, I proceed, drawing on Eales et al. (2008), to analyze the needs, expectations and resources cited in interviews by older people living in the Finnish Arctic. By identifying AFE-related distances in the region, the chapter widens the understanding of AFEs in the Finnish North. Significantly, the study illustrates positive as well as negative distances. Positive distances included long distances from crowds, crime and congestion and short distances to nature, a garden or a gym. Negative distances were those causing a sense of detachment: distance in time; distance within the community, such as that between native Finns and newcomers; and distances restricting access or opportunities to maintain social relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistance, Equity and Older People’s Experiences in the Nordic Periphery
Subtitle of host publicationCentering the Local
EditorsShahnaj Begum, Joan R. Harbison, Päivi Naskali, Minna Zechner
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-003-28033-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-24830-1, 978-1-032-24834-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

Series Routledge Research in Polar Regions

Field of science

  • Sociology


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