Coping with ageing in rural Australia

Anderson, Emily M., Larkins, Sarah, Beaney, Sarah, and Ray, Robin A. (2020) Coping with ageing in rural Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 28. pp. 469-479.

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Objective: Ageing is a time of change that might involve financial, health and social losses. To maintain well-being, older people need to engage a range of resources to cope with these losses. However, national policies mainly focus on financial re-sources. This study used Folkman and Lazarus's transactional theory to identify coping methods engaged by older adults living in three rural communities.

Design: A qualitative research design was undertaken using an ethnographic case study approach.

Setting: Three rural communities within northern Australia.

Participants: Older Australians aged 65 or over, living in their own homes.

Main outcome measures: Exploration of techniques that older adults use to cope with ageing (including both problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies).

Results: People in rural areas planned their ageing journey using both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies, to deal with the uncertainties of ageing. When participants could control the event, problem-focused coping strategies were mainly such as used seeking social support and planful problem-solving. Conversely, emotion-focused strategies were used to deal with uncertainty and emotive issues such as health decline, and the possibility of needing future care.

Conclusion: There is a need for health community workers to encourage older people to consider initiating a discussion of future care needs with their social network. This is of particular importance in rural areas, which have larger numbers of older residents and limited resources to support ageing in place.

Item ID: 64503
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: ageing, Australia, coping, family care, rural
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Copyright Information: © 2020 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd
Additional Information:

A version of this publication was included as Chapter 6 of the following PhD thesis: Anderson, Emily May (2020) Ageing in place in rural Australia. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 05:57
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420301 Aged health care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 40%
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