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Ageing in remote and cyclone-prone communities: geography, policy, and disaster relief


Astill, S, Ageing in remote and cyclone-prone communities: geography, policy, and disaster relief, Geographical Research, 55, (4) pp. 456-468. ISSN 1745-5863 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2017 Institute of Australian Geographers

DOI: doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12228


Focussing on the experience of independent-living older adults, this study explored how those in regional Australian coastal communities have coped with repeated natural disasters. Using an exploratory, mixed-method, and phenomenological approach, an array of non-probability snowballing techniques was used to seek participation from residents aged 65 years or more, and from emergency services officers, disaster managers, and community health care providers located in regional communities affected by Cyclone Larry (2006) and Cyclone Yasi (2011). The research found that post-disaster political decisions have had a negative long-term impact on local economies, causing outmigration by those seeking employment, and resulting in many elderly residents facing a future without family support. As government policies encourage ageing-in-place by providing subsidised in situ care, increasingly older adults are remaining in exposed vulnerable locations, reliant on authorities for their survival both day-to-day and during an emergency. Findings also uncovered inconsistent disaster management policies between neighbouring local government councils and an unrealistic reliance on in situ care organisations by disaster managers during preparation and recovery stages of a natural hazard. These results highlight the need for those charged with emergency management to reassess both the future natural hazard adaptive capacities of ageing regional communities and policy responses to such challenges.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ageing population, disaster relief, economic recovery, in-situ care, cyclone
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Human geography not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Astill, S (Dr Sandra Astill)
ID Code:123168
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-12-19
Last Modified:2018-07-17

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