Unmet Needs for Help With Mobility Limitations Among Older Adults Aging in Place: The Role of Rurality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study identifies differences in unmet mobility needs among older adults living in rural versus urban areas. Methods: We used data from Round 9 of the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), limiting our analyses to respondents who had not moved since baseline (average housing tenure of 27 years; n = 3343). We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to detect rural/urban differences in unmet mobility needs, adjusting for socio-demographics, health status, and housing characteristics. Results: Rural residence was associated with higher odds of any unmet mobility needs for older adults aging in place (adjusted odds ratio: 1.64, 95% confidence interval: 1.10–2.44, p <.05). The relationship between rurality and unmet needs for help with mobility limitations remained significant in fully adjusted models. Discussion: Rural older adults aging in place have greater unmet needs for help with mobility limitations. This study highlights several important gaps in supporting rural older adults aging in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-631
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under PHS Grant No. U1CRH03717-13-00. This research was also supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494.The information, conclusions and opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and no endorsement by FORHP, HRSA, NIH, or HHS is intended or should be inferred.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • aging in place
  • housing
  • mobility limitations
  • rural

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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