Ryerson University

Christian E. Fisker is the present Vice President of Development at the Chartwell Seniors Housing since 2005.

Reliance Mobilities

The mobilities turn has opened up a view of the complex relationships between mobilities and immobilities. One can see the relational nature of mobility and immobility in the works of Adey, Classen and Goffman, where some are relatively mobile while others are relatively immobile. One can also look to the relational nature of those attempting mobility, in their relationships with technologies and infrastructures, where some configurations are possible, while others are highly constrained or not possible, depending on the unique circumstances of an individual and those they may attempt to team up with in order to be on the move together. One can go still further and consider the relational nature of mobilities required to address human needs, in the relationships people attempt to create, configure and reconfigure, where they team up with others in various ways, where one person within the configuration is immobile.

This paper is an investigation of the reliance mobilities of those who lived immobile lives, within iron lungs, and those who interacted with them, such as family, friends and health care workers, in order to address their needs. The primary source for this investigation is four books written by people who lived parts of their lives in iron lungs. Along the way, various forms of mobilities configurations, in order to address the needs of people living in iron lungs, are brought forward. The paper concludes with a discussion on how this inquiry may be of benefit to those researching and planning housing, health care, social services and transportation systems for housebound seniors. This paper contributes to mobilities turn theory by proposing a means of thinking about mobilities that are created, configured and reconfigured in order to address the needs of those who are immobile and by introducing ‘reliance mobilities’ to the mobilities turn vocabulary.