The increase in chronic illness conditions pose a major challenge to individuals, communities and governments in relation to how people can continue to live optimal lives. Australia’s National Chronic Disease Strategy (2005) highlights the importance of addressing illnesses and conditions that impact on the livelihood and productivity of the community and the role that intersectoral collaboration could play in addressing these challenges. For Tasmania this is particularly significant given that the current population is over proportionately represented by the 65 and older age group and this is projected to increase. There is an opportunity to look more closely at how individuals and communities (especially those at potential risk) are responding to this problem and what they see as a realistic forecast for their futures.
The research would involve a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methodology to explore perceptions of Tasmanians who consider themselves to be currently productive and having choices in how they live their lives into the future. This could relate particularly to the baby boomer age group (currently 50-60 years) living in rural areas and who expect to stay, to explore commonality of factors impacting on their perceived functionality, wellbeing and the assistance they may require as they grow older. The candidate could expect to receive additional support from professionals working with other collaborative projects being conducted at the Rural Clinical School investigating the role that health and community services play in supporting best outcomes for patients and the general community. This scholarship will be attractive to people who have an interest in the determinants that impact on chronic disease and how these affect healthy ageing and/or rehabilitation options in rural areas.
Professor Timothy Skinner
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Authorised by the Dean of Graduate Research
1 August, 2011