Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)
Physician Assistant Studies
Rachel Elbing, MPH, PA-C
Background: As they age, older adults are often forced to change their living environments to accommodate their growing medical and personal needs. However, alternative living options are often less desired and present other challenges. Aging in place is the ability for individuals to choose where they live as they age, prioritizing the aging person’s choice and providing resources to support it. Purpose: The Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota currently has a population of nearly 472,000 older individuals, and it is only continuing to rise. Although infrastructure exists that supports aging in place, not all older individuals get adequate services or any services at all. This needs-based assessment identifies the resources available for AIP in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the major barriers this population faces. Methods: A combination of a case study interview and non-systematic review of national and local resources was used to identify main themes of barriers for aging in place. This mixed approach was chosen to obtain specialized insight to the current resources and needs of the aging community in the Twin Cities metropolitan area while exploring the breadth of resources available at larger levels. Conclusions: Between national and local resources, the Twin Cities metropolitan area offers a number of services that help with ADLs, housing, healthcare and mental health, and financial assistance. Despite these services, there are still challenges with aging in place that prevent many older adults in the area from aging where and how they want. Five major themes were identified as barriers in place: 1) the cost of healthcare and mental health services, 2) limited affordable housing options, 3) the combination of inadequate infrastructure for accessible living spaces and transportation, 4) lack of adequate financial support, and 5) absence of adequate culturally specific services. These barriers are rooted in national systemic inequity and require a more equitable approach to address the challenges faced by older adults in the Twin Cities.
Burt, Emma, "Growing Pains: A Needs-Based Assessment of Aging in Place in the Twin Cities" (2023). Theses and Graduate Projects. 1557.