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Elderly People and the City- An Investigation with GPS Methodology by Noam Shoval
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Elderly People and the City- An Investigation with GPS Methodology by Noam Shoval


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  • 1. Elderly People and the City An Investigation with GPS Methodology Dr. Noam Shoval Department of Geography The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The research is supported by the Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation (DIP)
  • 2. Dementia and Mobility About 23 million people worldwide have some form of dementia Rate rises with age – 1.5% among people aged 65-69; 25% among people aged 85+ “The white epidemic” Rate is expected to double every 20 years Many people with dementia have problems with mobility, especially outside the home. Mobility problems, especially wandering, is one of the main reasons for institutionalization of elders. Sources: Ferri et al. (2005); Glickman (1997)
  • 3. Research Team Hebrew University Univ. of Heidelberg Noam Shoval – Coordinator Hans-Werner Wahl (Geography) (Psychology: Gerontology) Gail Auslander Frank Oswald (Social Work: Gerontology) (Environmental Psychology) Ruth Landau Tim Freytag (Social Work: Ethics) (Geography) Jeremia Heinik (Psychogeriatrics)
  • 4. Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region Tel-Aviv Metropolitan Region
  • 5. Study Goals (Selected) Do mobility patterns of older adults vary according to their cognitive state? If so, what specific patterns in time and space occur? Assess the relationship between mobility and quality of life among elders and their families. Assess the potential of advanced tracking technologies to reduce stress and burden of families of elders with dementia. Examine the ethical implications of advanced tracking technologies. Assess the potential of the technology in the diagnosis of dementia.
  • 6. General concept of data flow
  • 7. Traditional Methods for Data Collection on Human Spatial Activity Tracking / Following / Stalking Observation: high buildings, CCTV cameras, etc. Evidence provided by the research subject themselves (Questionnaires, Time-Space Diaries). Based on the subject’s collaboration… Especially in the case of cognitive impaired people. The potential to implement advanced tracking technologies
  • 8. Implementing Tracking Technologies for Spatial Research My own experience: Spatial activity of visitors to (1) Theme Parks (Mini-Israel, PortAventura - Catalunya) (2) Historic Cities (Akko, Heidelberg) and (3) Multi-Functional Cities (Hong-Kong) Objective functional measures of orthopedic procedures (with Hadassah university hospital in Jerusalem)
  • 9. END of Part 1
  • 10. Recruitment of participants from three groups in each country (Israel and Germany): Healthy elders, Elders with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Elders with Mild Dementia (MD) Procedure repeated for three years.
  • 11. Tracking technology – location kits Location Kit : Star unit, home unit and RF watch
  • 12. Perspective I: When the research unit is an Individual •How do people move through space? •What types of transportation do they use? •Where do elderly people spend their time? •How much of their time is spent at home?
  • 13. Perspective II: When the research unit is the City: One month aggregative Activity of P8, MCI
  • 14. Tracking people involves a lot of data Tracking a person every 10 seconds means collecting, storing and analyzing 360 points an hour and 8640 points a day, 259200 a month... That is a lot of data!
  • 15. Participant 111019, 26/4/08
  • 16. What could make someone walk in such a strange pattern?
  • 17. Part 3: Preliminary Findings
  • 18. Movement in Space
  • 19. Participants Tracks count by day of the week and hour 180 160 140 120 100 Monday Saturday 80 60 40 20 0 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • 20. In what activities outside home do the participants spend their time?
  • 21. How far from home are the participants during the day and night?
  • 22. P1 – Spider web chart of average activity
  • 23. Distances from home of one participant during one week
  • 24. Average of median distance from home for three cognitive groups
  • 25. Aggregative Consumption of Space
  • 26. Dr. Noam Shoval’s Research Group
  • 27. GPS samples by velocity
  • 28. Conclusions 1. Using advanced tracking technologies opens up new possibilities for empirical research (in terms of the accuracy, and the data resolution). 2. The fact that the data is collected by digital interfaces allow accelerated analysis (almost in real time) and in lower costs. 3. Our research design enables us to link between the geographical, medical and psycho-social data. 4. Possibilities to implement the methodologies to advance research in other cases of pedestrian behavior.
  • 29. Thanks!