Country life better for older citizens

NOW here is some good news for older residents living in country areas.

Research released this week has revealed that older Australians living in rural areas are generally happier with their lives than those living in the cities.

La Trobe University Professor of Rural Aged Care Research Jeni Warburton and her team found that while many people experienced some disadvantage from living in rural areas, they generally rated their quality of life highly.

“It’s wrong to think that older people are socially isolated just because they’re geographically isolated,” Professor Warburton said.

The La Trobe University pilot study is a replication of a two-stage study conducted in the United Kingdom several years ago and is the first of its kind in Australia.

The research did find, however, that older people in rural areas were less likely to have contact with their family as many younger people migrated to cities for education or work.

Compensating that was that while they missed out on regular family contact, they were often part of a strong community network and felt strongly involved in their local communities.

This meant that they had access to informal care systems that those in cities were less likely to have.

Now I don’t know if that makes older people in the region feel better or not, but to me it reveals that we have much stronger social networks in the country than the cities.

It is easy to get lost in a city and isolated, as many moving from the country have found. There might be one million-plus living within 50 kilometres of you, but few, if any, may care about your wellbeing.

Country living does have its drawbacks as far as facilities and services go, but for me its beats the city life by a country mile.

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