ARE you aged over 60, living in rural Australia and caring for someone also aged over 60?
If so, your input is needed to help understand the role online and in-person social supports play in helping caregivers cope.
The Charles Sturt University researchers are looking for at least 180 people to take part in a survey to help inform the development of actions to address issues of isolation and depression for older caregivers in rural areas.
"Although caregiving can be a rewarding task, informal care is often associated with risks to the caregiver's health, including having a higher likelihood of psychological disorders, levels of stress and poorer wellbeing when compared to non-caregivers," said researcher Dr Belinda Cash, who is also a member of the university's Ageing Well Research Group.
"For caregivers in rural areas, the experience of providing support to an older adult can also be made more difficult by having limited access to formal health and aged care services to support both older adults and their caregivers."
The first stage of the research requires participants to complete a survey, which will take around 10-20 minutes.
Participants will then be given the option of having a follow-up interview to chat further about what rural caregivers would find most beneficial in a social support program.
"While social supports have traditionally happened face-to-face, the importance of digital platforms in maintaining social connection and wellbeing have become increasingly evident during the current COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Australian bushfire events," Dr Cash said.
"The availability of both in-person and online connections are particularly important for rural Australians, whose social supports are already impacted by geographic distance."
You can access the survey HERE
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