Understanding ageing well in Australian rural and regional settings: Applying an age-friendly lens Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:This study investigates how rural community-dwelling older adults' views on what is important in maintaining health and wellbeing align with the eight age-friendly domains proposed by the World Health Organisation, and which domains are most salient. DESIGN:Data were gathered through open-ended response postcards distributed using a whole-of-community approach. SETTING:The Rural City of Wangaratta, a rural local government area located in north-east Victoria. PARTICIPANTS:262 postcards were returned by rural older adults, carers and family members. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:Thematic analysis of open-ended responses to the following question: what is important to you as you grow older (or your loved one), in terms of keeping healthy and well? RESULTS:Even though all eight age-friendly domains were identified as important for health and wellbeing, community and health services was the most frequently discussed domain, followed by transportation and access to outdoor spaces and buildings. However, individual-level factors, inclusive of personal activities, attitudes and capacities, were also identified as important to rural older adults. CONCLUSION:Findings support the use of the World Health Organization's age-friendly city framework in assessing what is important to rural older adults' health and wellbeing, with the community and health services domain most salient. However, individual-level activities, attitudes and capacities must also be considered.

publication date

  • 2019