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Impact of an ageing population on service design and delivery in rural areas - RE0259

Rural areas face disproportionate challenges arising from an aging population, compared with urban areas, not least as nearly a quarter of all older people live in rural areas, and as they age their requirements for access to services such as Health, Transport, and Social Services are likely to increase.

For service commissioners and deliverers, it is important to understand how ageing impacts upon service delivery so that services can be tailored to address those needs and ensure equitable service delivery to an increasingly important sector of the population.

This research project aims to:
• Understand the impact of an older and ageing population in rural areas on service demand and delivery;
• Demonstrate where and how the design and delivery of key services need to be tailored to meet the present and future needs of an ageing rural population; and
• To identify any underlying principles of good practice in designing and delivering key services to an older population.
The initial research questions this project seeks to answer include:

• What effects do an older population have on the demand for key services in rural areas?
• What are the implications of an older and ageing rural population for service design and delivery?
• How are service designers and deliverers addressing issues relating to an older and ageing rural population?
• How does service design and delivery currently differ in rural areas compared to urban areas?
• What barriers and challenges to successfully meeting the needs of an older and ageing rural population exist from the service delivery perspective;
• What barriers and challenges are experienced by older service users?
• How do needs and experiences differ between different age groups of the older population, including comparisons between those of working (aged 50+) and retirement age?
• Identify a range of good practice case studies to illustrate lessons from successful and non successful service delivery tailored for an older and ageing rural population.

The research will cover key public services from across social care, health care and local council services including housing and transport. The final list of services for study will be dependent on the findings from the initial evidence review. The older population is defined as those aged 60 and over for women and aged 65 and over for men.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : DEFRA Rural Ageing Report   (649k)
• IR - Interim Report : Best practice case studies   (469k)
• IR - Interim Report : Interim report - Evidence review   (810k)
• IR - Interim Report : Interim report - Qualitative research   (498k)
• IR - Interim Report : Interim report - Qualitative research Appendix   (444k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £144,475
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rural Development              
Social Research              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs