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
Geographical gerontology can look like a niche subfield of geography or a tenuous overlap between that discipline and gerontology, which is itself a broadly interdisciplinary affair. However, in the context of progressive global population ageing, this intersectional field of study offers more than its current popularity might suggest. Many of the problems with contemporary aged care provision resolve around, I suggest, issues associated with concerns of space and place. These two key geographical concepts are highly dynamic at both the theoretical and applied levels. In this chapter, I consider them as a dualism that offers the field of gerontology and associated applications, a growing utility. Space can be seen as abstracted and instrumental, with which place can be seen as relational, generative and pluralistic. On their own, neither is necessarily likely to address the full scope of societal issues that population ageing presents. However, drawing on developments across these two conceptual domains offers opportunities for a contemporary geographical gerontology. We face a variety of interconnected global problems that demand a spatially informed perspective. Here, I propose how a developmental synthesis of these two concepts that might add utility and value for those within and beyond the current aged care sector.
Part of the book:[Working title]
We examine immigration, population ageing and the aged care workforce, as well as making suggestions for their effects on health, aged and social care including more localised implications. While there is now a push to reopen borders, and while numbers are rising, it is as yet unclear if the ‘old order’ will resurge or if the situation has changed for the foreseeable future. We draw on data from a variety of official sources in a developmental discussion of the current and likely future effects of labour migration patterns, workforce supply and demand issues in Australia, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For a variety of reasons, the data used here are emergent and the effects on current and future workforce requirements will be varied at several levels. Australia’s ageing population and associated health and social care needs are dynamic in themselves, but they are also situated within a broader international context. There is a need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of how these factors intersect and likely future scenarios.
Part of the book:[Working title]