Ageing in place in rural Tasmania
Across Australia, the population in rural areas is ageing more rapidly than that in metropolitan areas. A key strategy to sustain this ageing population has been to support “ageing in place” to extend the time spent by older adults living independently in their own homes whilst maintaining their quality of life. This can be problematic in rural areas where access to services and support are particularly challenging.
Ageing is a complex process characterised by the progressive loss of functional ability and an increased prevalence of chronic, co-morbid medical conditions. Older adults (especially those aged 75 years and over) are particularly vulnerable to health challenges and can be at greater risk. The early recognition and detection of any decline in health or well-being are therefore crucial for timely and cost effective measures.
This study will draw upon concepts such as quality of Life, neighbourhood, networks, social support, sense of place, mobility and activity space to better understand how location and other place characteristics impact on well-being, access to and patterns of healthcare support. The outcome of this research will be to provide practitioners, health planners and policy makers with evidence upon which more appropriate interventions can be planned to better support ageing in place in rural areas.
A/Professor Tony Barnett
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