The global phenomenon of population ageing is both complex and multi-layered. We know at a global level that different countries are progressing towards becoming aged societies at different rates. We know that within national borders some regions, mainly rural, are affected by ageing more than others. We also know the health and social care systems struggle to respond effectively to ageing because it is complex and, often, runs counter to the structural design of healthcare systems with their emphasis on clinical and organ-specific problems. Ageing challenges these conventional approaches and is compounded by the prevalence of wide-spread ageism at the societal and systemic levels. Therefore, if we are to adapt to population ageing and care for older people effectively, we need to better understand them and their situational contexts. This includes where they live and how their social, biological and clinical trajectories are progressing. Synthesising this kind of multi-layered information also presents challenges because many health and social care systems operate in silos, with limited information exchanges and limited service coordination. One strategy is the concept of a visuospatial data-informed approach. Here we present a conceptual basis for this approach drawn from our work in the Australian health and ageing contexts.
Part of the book: Demographic Analysis