Research into rural ageing, migration and care

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Researchers from the University of Stirling are looking to talk to people from Brechin, Forfar and rural Angus to help understand how individual households plan to and do manage the challenges of care for older people in rural areas.

To help explore patterns of migration and their implications for care demand and supply in rural areas researchers from the university would like to speak to older people and their carers from rural areas of Scotland and England.

Alasdair Rutherford, research fellow from The University of Stirling said: “The aims of the research are:- To explore and project patterns of migration and their implications for care demand and supply in rural areas; to understand how individual households plan to and do manage the challenges of care for older people in rural areas; to identify implications for policy.

“We are looking to speak to people from rural Angus such as Brechin, Edzell, Forfar and The Glens because population ageing is especially marked in rural areas of Scotland and England, raising particularly pressing issues regarding potential demand for and supply of care and support for older people who need it.

“Recent policy has emphasised ageing in place, with reduced use of residential and hospital care.

“Unpaid (family or community) carers are central to care at home, and an understanding of future trends in the demand for and supply of this type of care is essential to inform realistic policy decisions.

“Some of the factors which have influenced rural ageing relate to migration.

“Age selective out-migration reduces the potential supply of those who can deliver care, both unpaid and paid.

“Retirement migration may increase the older population in some areas, and often involves older people who do not have an established network of supporters in the form of family and friends.

“Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy tend to be higher in rural areas.

“If you agree to take part, we will talk to you about where you have lived, and any needs for care and support you have. The interview will take no more than an hour of your time and we are happy to stop and start and work at your pace.

“We will talk to you twice for 30 minutes each time, or whatever is suitable to you.

“All you will have to do is talk to us about where you have lived at different times and the care and support you may have received.

“If you would like to see the questions we will ask beforehand then we can give them to you.

“We cannot promise that taking part in the study will help you now but the information we get from the research will help improve the provision of care and support for older people in rural communities in the future.

“All information collected is strictly confidential.”

This project is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) under the work of the Centre for Population Change, a research centre which is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and a consortium of Scottish universities led by St Andrews. Prof David Bell and Prof Alison Bowes, based at the University of Stirling, are members of this consortium and the Principal Investigators for the project, and the researcher is Alasdair Rutherford.

For more information on this research, or to register an interest in participating telephone Alasdair Rutherford on 01786 466409.