The issues and misconceptions of ageing in rural and remote Australia exposed

28 AUGUST 2019

The issues and misconceptions of ageing in rural and remote Australia exposed

Charles Sturt academics have published new research on the health of the older population living in rural, regional and remote Australia.

  • Researchers from Charles Sturt have contributed to The Australian Journal of Rural Health’s special issue on ageing in rural Australia
  • The issue explores research on rural health issues, policy, palliative care, elder abuse, and mental health treatments for older Australians
  • The issue highlights the need for Australia’s health care system to relate to the needs of rural and remote ageing populations

Eleven researchers from Charles Sturt University(Charles Sturt) have contributed to The Australian Journal of Rural Health's (AJRH) latest issue, which focuses on the health of the older population living in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The AJRH’s special issue titled ‘Ageing in rural Australia’ features 13 articles that advocate for rural health issues, address health research and policy, and examine palliative care, and Indigenous and multicultural issues in rural communities.

Associate Professor Russell Roberts (pictured) in the Charles Sturt School of Management and Marketing, who is also Editor in Chief of AJRH and an author of one of the issue’s papers, said the release of this special issue comes at an opportune time while the country waits on the interim report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“The topics and issues explored in the issue are contemporary challenges facing our regional, rural and remote ageing populations and are on the government’s agenda,” Professor Roberts said.

“The issue explores key challenges and issues such as elder abuse, treating anxiety and depression in older adults, the ageing farming workforce, and increasing social participation.

“A highlight in the issue are the reports of successful program initiatives, such as one study outlining implementation of a project that has resulted older people in the bush getting the same level of access to mental health services as those living in the capital cities.”

The issue was jointly edited by special guest editors Professor Oliver Burmeister in the Charles Sturt School of Computing and Mathematics and Dr Evelien Spelten from La Trobe University.

They highlighted in their editorial that the research demonstrates that ‘ … ageing is not just about institutionalised care, illness and death.’

The editorial also points out that ‘ … with this growing ageing population, the challenge for our rural health care system is to relate to this population and to align our system of health care with their needs’.

The academics highlight the complexities around ageing in Australia, ‘ … especially for seniors in Australia’s rural and remote regions where there is limited availability of aged care facilities to begin with’.

The ‘Ageing in Rural Australia’ special issue features papers from researchers in the Charles Sturt School of Community Health, School of Management and Marketing, School of Computing and Mathematics, and School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health.

The special issue was published in August 2019 and can be accessed via the Wiley Online Library.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Associate Professor Russel Roberts or Professor Oliver Burmeister, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on 02 6338 6270 or news@csu.edu.au

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