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Joel Fosha
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Book by IU faculty member examines aging and place in America

Jan. 5, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With the first of the Baby Boom generation well into midlife, the number of Americans at or nearing retirement age is both unprecedented and expanding, notes Indiana University faculty member Phil Stafford in his recently published book Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America.


Stafford, an adjunct professor in the IU Bloomington Department of Anthropology and director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community's Center on Aging and Community, writes that, with so much emphasis being given to helping retirees maintain good health and active lifestyles, it also is important to think about where they live and how to make those homes and communities elder-friendly.

Stafford's book argues that aging is not about time and the body, but about place and relationships. Drawing on the multidisciplinary field of ethnography, it gives readers a deeper understanding of how the aging experience is shaped by where people call home, as well as a look at what makes a place well-suited for post-retirement living.

Elderburbia combines cutting-edge scholarship with practical advice and provides an introduction to pivotal research on the broad subject of aging and place, including studies of migration and relocation. It also takes readers inside innovative, elder-friendly community planning around the United States, particularly AdvantAge -- an initiative to help counties, cities and towns prepare for the growing number of older adults who are "aging in place," as opposed to moving to retiree-only communities. Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America is published by Praeger Publishers.

The Indiana University Center on Aging and Community conducts research and provides training, assistance and information to individuals, families and professionals seeking to enable older persons to lead self-determined lives within their communities. It is part of the Indiana Institute for Disability and Community at IU Bloomington. For more information, see