Doing it My Way.
DOI of Published Version
PURPOSE: Historically, hotels and single-room occupancy residences have provided room, board, and social support services to elders, in particular the poor and the disenfranchised. This article presents the results of a case study drawn from a larger ethnographic community study that set forth to describe how and why elders from one rural community chose to live in a motel in that same rural community. The focus of this study is a description of 7 middle-income and affluent rural elders living in a motel setting as a housing option that enabled them to remain independent in their community.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Using a community study ethnographic design and the strategies of formal and informal interviews, participant observation, and inductive comparative case study analysis, this study provides a description of why these elders decided to live in the motel and how this facilitated their living in the community.
RESULTS AND IMPLICATIONS: Reasons that these elders decided to live at the motel included "saving my energy for living," "safety," "connections and privacy," and "the freedom to come and go." This study informs elder care policy, emphasizing the importance of naturally occurring networks to develop community capacity for healthy aging in one rural setting.