Incomers and locals: length of residence and ageing in rural communities
Orpin, P and Baynes, H and Boyer, K and Walker, JH, Incomers and locals: length of residence and ageing in rural communities, Abstracts for the 43rd National Conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology, 17-19 November 2010, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 3. (2010) [Conference Extract]
Background: Concerns about the future provision of supports
and services for older Australians are particularly pronounced
in rural and regional areas with their older and faster ageing
populations and rapid rate of cultural, social and economic
change. There is an urgent need for a more nuanced
understanding of how these changes in older rural/regional
populations will impact on future policy and service planning.
This paper looks at the ageing services implications of one
such major change: the infl ux into rural and regional
communities of older sea and tree-changers.
Data: This paper draws on interview data from 143, mostly
older, rural people collected in three studies across ten
Tasmanian rural communities.
Results: Differences between recent incomers and long-term
residents with major implications for policy and services
development, emerged strongly in all three studies. The
smaller, more locally defi ned but deeply rooted and complex
social linkages of longer term residents are more likely to
provide strong local informal, especially kinship, support in
ageing. On the other hand the wider, more diverse networks
of incomers, combined with their better educational, fi nancial
and cultural resources, and greater mobility, provide weaker
local informal support structures but more options for
fi nding alternate services and supports. Longer term residents
display a stoic acceptance and self suffi ciency that is less
obvious among incomers. Although both groups profess a
strong attachment to place and notions of community, that
of incomers has a more theoretical, aesthetic and aspirational
tone compared to the very grounded ‘warts and all’
attachment of long term residents.
Conclusion: Incomers may or may not elect to age in place
but, if they do, they are likely to present a very different
scenario in terms of services expectations and requirements
compared to the relatively undemanding formal services
expectations of long term residents.