European Spatial Research and Policy


It has been argued that attachment to place increases wellbeing in old age (Wiles et al., 2009). Feeling ‘in place’ can increase an older person's wellbeing. For older migrants it can be a challenge to live in-between cultures. The objective of the article is to explore how older Antillean migrants derive a sense of wellbeing from attachment to their everyday places. We do so by drawing on in-depth interviews and a photography project with Antilleans who live in a senior cohousing community in a city in the Northern Netherlands. Based on the study, we conclude that the cohousing community acted as a central setting of experience from which the participants explored their wider surroundings and developed new attachments in the neighbourhood.


ageing, place attachment, wellbeing, Antillean migrants, the Netherlands, senior cohousing community




BECKER, G. (2003), ‘Meanings of Place and Displacement in Three Groups of Older Immigrants’, Journal of Aging Studies, 17 (2), pp. 129–149.

BIH, H. (1992), ‘The Meaning of Objects in Environmental Transitions: Experiences of Chinese Students in the United States’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 12 (2), pp. 135–147.

BLUNT, A. and DOWLING, R. (2006), Home, Oxon: Routledge.

BOLZMAN, C., FIBBI, R. and VIAL, M. (2006), ‘What to Do after Retirement? Elderly Migrants and the Question of Return’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (8), pp. 1359–1375.

BRITTANICA (2009), Encyclopædia Britannica. Papiamentu http://www.britannica.com/EB-checked/topic/442065/Papiamentu 1 July 2010.

BUITELAAR, M. (2007), ‘Staying Close by Moving out. The Contextual Meanings of Personal Autonomy in the Life Stories of Women of Moroccan Descent in the Netherlands’, Contemporary Islam, 1 (1), pp. 3–22.

CBS NETHERLANDS (2010), Migratie; land van herkomst / vestiging, geboorteland en geslacht (Migration; Country of Origin / Establishment, Country of Birth and Sex), Den Haag-Heerlen: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, Statline.

CHOI, J. S. (2004), ‘Evaluation of Community Planning and Life of Senior Cohousing Projects in Northern European Countries’, European Planning Studies, 12 (8), pp. 1189–1216.

DAATLAND, S. O. and BIGGS, S. (eds.), (2006), Ageing and Diversity: Multiple Pathways and Cultural Migrations, Bristol: Policy Press.

DAVIDSON, K., WARREN, L. and MAYNARD, M. (2005), ‘Social Involvement. Aspects of Gender and Ethnicity’, [in:] A. WALKER (ed.), Understanding Quality of Life in Old Age, Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 84–99.

DAYARATNE, R. and KELLETT, P. (2008), ‘Housing and Home-Making in Low-Income Urban Settlements: Sri Lanka and Colombia’, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 23 (1), pp. 53–70.

FASSMANN, H. and MUNZ, R. (1992), ‘Patterns and Trends of International Migration in Western Europe’, Population and Development Review, 18 (3), pp. 457–480.

FGW (Federatie Gemeenschappelijk Wonen), (2006), Gemeenschappelijk wonen. Meer dan wonen (Communal Housing. More than Living), Utrecht: Federatie Gemeenschappelijk Wonen.

FROMM, D. and JONG, E. de (2009), ‘Community and Health: Immigrant Senior Cohousing in the Netherlands’, Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture, 145, pp. 50–53.

INGERSOLL-DAYTON, B. (2011), ‘The Development of Culturally-Sensitive Measures for Research on Ageing’, Ageing and Society, 31 (3), pp. 355–370.

LIAMPUTTONG, P. and EZZY, D. (2005), Qualitative Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

LVGO (2010), Landelijke vereniging groepswonen van ouderen (National Association for Senior Cohousing Communities) http://www.lvgo.nl 5 November 2011.

MANZO, L. C. (2005), ‘For Better or Worse: Exploring Multiple Dimensions of Place Meaning’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25 (1), pp. 67–86.

MAZUMDAR, S. and MAZUMDAR, S. (2009), ‘Religion, Immigration, and Home Making in Diaspora: Hindu Space in Southern California’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29 (2), pp. 256–266.

MCHUGH, K. E. and LARSON-KEAGY, E. M. (2005), ‘These White Walls: The Dialectic of Retirement Communities’, Journal of Aging Studies, 19 (2), pp. 241–256.

MERZ, E., ÖZEKE-KOCABAS, E., OORT, F. J. and SCHUENGEL, C. (2009), ‘Intergenerational Family Solidarity: Value Differences between Immigrant Groups and Generations’, Journal of Family Psychology, 23 (3), pp. 291–300.

MILLIGAN, C. (2009), There's No Place Like Home: Place and Care in an Ageing Society, Farnham: Ashgate.

ONS (Onderzoek en Statistiek Groningen), (2011), Gronometer, groningen.buurtmonitor.nl, 31 August.

PEACE, S. M., HOLLAND, C. and KELLAHER, L. (2006), Environment and Identity in later Life, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

PERCIVAL, J. (2002), ‘Domestic Spaces: Uses and Meanings in the Daily Lives of Older People’, Ageing and Society, 22 (6), pp. 729–749.

PHILLIPSON, C. (2007), ‘The "Elected" and the "Excluded": Sociological Perspectives on the Experience of Place and Community in Old Age’, Ageing and Society, 27 (3), pp. 321–342.

PHINNEY, J. S., HORENCZYK, G., LIEBKIND, K. and VEDDER, P. (2001), ‘Ethnic Identity, Immigration, and Well-Being: An Interactional Perspective’, Journal of Social Issues, 57 (3), pp. 493–510.

PONZETTI, J. (2003), ‘Growing Old in Rural Communities: A Visual Methodology for Studying Place Attachment’, Journal of Rural Community Psychology, E6 (1).

RIOUX, L. (2005), ‘The Well-Being of Aging People Living in Their Own Homes’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25 (2), pp. 231–243.

RUBINSTEIN, R. L. and PARMELEE, P. A. (1992), ‘Attachment to Place and the Representation of Life Course by the Elderly’, [in:] ALTMAN, I. and LOW, S. M. (eds.), Place Attachment, New York: Plenum Press, pp. 139–163.

SCANNELL, L. and GIFFORD, R. (2010), ‘Defining Place Attachment: A Tripartite Organizing Framework’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30 (1), pp. 1–10.

SCHELLINGERHOU T, R. (ed.), (2004), Gezondheid en welzijn van allochtone ouderen (Health and Well-Being of Older People Originating from Other Countries), the Hague: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (SCP).

SMITH, A. E. (2009), Ageing in Urban Neighbourhoods, Bristol: Policy Press.

SNEL, E., ENGBERSEN, G. and LEERKES, A. (2006), ‘Transnational Involvement and Social Integration’, Global Networks, 6 (3), pp. 285–308.

STAVENUITER, M. and DONGEN, M. C. van (2008), Gemeenschappelijk wonen: Een literatuurstudie (Communal Living: A Literature Study), Utrecht: Verwey-Jonker Instituut.

WHITE, A. M. and GROVES, M. A. (1997), ‘Interdependence and the Aged Stereotype’, Australasian Journal on Ageing, 16 (2), pp. 83–89.

WILES, J. L., ALLEN, R. E. S., PALMER, A. J., HAYMAN, K. J., KEELING, S. and KERSE, N. (2009), ‘Older People and Their Social Spaces: A Study of Well-Being and Attachment to Place in Aotearoa New Zealand’, Social Science and Medicine, 68 (4), pp. 664–671.

YOUNG, A. F., RUSSELL, A. and POWERS, J. R. (2004), ‘The Sense of Belonging to a Neighbourhood: Can It Be Measured and Is It Related to Health and Well Being in Older Women?’, Social Science and Medicine, 59 (12), pp. 2627–2637.

First Page


Last Page