• aging adults;
  • attachment to place;
  • community resources;
  • rural

This article explores the meaning of place and connection to location among aging adults in America's Heartland. Focus groups were conducted in a rural and urban county with participants age 65 to 84 years, and age 85 years and older. A keen sense of place among participants was revealed, poignantly portrayed as “loss” among rural participants who described changes to the landscape, economic restructuring, and the loss of farming as a way of life. Changes in urban settings were depicted as a shrinking of space over which participants' exerted control (e.g., steering clear of freeway driving, limiting driving at night, traversing well-known surface streets). These losses in community are balanced against a strong desire to age in place in familiar settings in which there are known social and resource connections. The investigation illustrates the power of place for aging adults, and the need to recognize its importance in public policy, practice, advocacy, and research.