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Ageing in remote and cyclone-prone communities: geography, policy, and disaster relief

Astill, S 2017 , 'Ageing in remote and cyclone-prone communities: geography, policy, and disaster relief' , Geographical Research , pp. 1-13 , doi:

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Focussing on the experience of independent-living older adults, this study exploredhow those in regional Australian coastal communities have coped with repeated naturaldisasters. Using an exploratory, mixed-method, and phenomenological approach,an array of non-probability snowballing techniques was used to seekparticipation from residents aged 65 years or more, and from emergency services officers,disaster managers, and community health care providers located in regionalcommunities affected by Cyclone Larry (2006) and Cyclone Yasi (2011). The researchfound that post-disaster political decisions have had a negative long-term impacton local economies, causing outmigration by those seeking employment, andresulting in many elderly residents facing a future without family support. As governmentpolicies encourage ageing-in-place by providing subsidised in situ care, increasinglyolder adults are remaining in exposed vulnerable locations, reliant onauthorities for their survival both day-to-day and during an emergency. Findings alsouncovered inconsistent disaster management policies between neighbouring localgovernment councils and an unrealistic reliance on in situ care organisations by disastermanagers during preparation and recovery stages of a natural hazard. Theseresults highlight the need for those charged with emergency management to reassessboth the future natural hazard adaptive capacities of ageing regional communitiesand policy responses to such challenges.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Astill, S
Keywords: ageing population, disaster relief, economic recovery, in-situ care, cyclone
Journal or Publication Title: Geographical Research
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 1745-5863
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Institute of Australian Geographers

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