Grey nomads: health and health preparation of older travellers in remote Australia

Tate, Joel, Mein, Jacki, Freeman, Hayley, and Maguire, Graeme (2006) Grey nomads: health and health preparation of older travellers in remote Australia. Australian Family Physician, 35 (1/2). 4. pp. 70-72.

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BACKGROUND Many older Australians now tour remote Australia (so called 'grey nomads'). Anecdote suggests they place a burden on limited remote health services, however, this burden is poorly documented.

METHODS Two groups were approached to participate in the survey: travellers aged 50 years or over and staying in caravans, motor homes or tents at Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia; and local primary health care providers.

RESULTS All 260 travellers approached responded The prevalence of chronic diseases in those aged 65 years or over was 68%; 57% had sufficient chronic medications for the entire trip; 19% had a list of long term medications; and 9% of those With chronic diseases had a health summary from their usual general practitioner. Sixty four local health providers responded: 95% rated health summaries highly (particularly if they included an active problem list. past history, current medications, and allergies).

DISCUSSION Older patients are poorly prepared for travel in remote Australia. They have a chronic disease rate no less than the national prevalence and could represent a drain on local health resources. Solutions might include GP review before travel, bringing sufficient medication for the trip, review of vaccination requirements, and a health summary.

Item ID: 17356
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0300-8495
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2011 01:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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