Meeting the social support needs of older rural people in Central Otago: The impact of a pilot social work position

Sharnee Diamond, Chrystal Jaye

Abstract


INTRODUCTION: This project aimed to identify the support needs of older people living in rural Central Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand and to ascertain if a pilot social work position was meeting these needs.

METHODS: Data were collected during December 2019. Twelve semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with the social worker, referrers of the social worker’s clients, key community stakeholders, and the older rural residents supported by the social worker.

FINDINGS: An interpretive analysis of the data identified two key thematics: 1) being older in Central Otago; and 2) providing aged social work services in this region.

CONCLUSION: Despite the positive impact that the Age Concern Otago social work position is having for clients of the service, the need for social support for older rural people in Central Otago continues to grow. In addition to increasing social worker resourcing, better coordination and linking between the government and non-government agencies operating in this space would improve the effectiveness of aged social work services, as would improved visibility of these services within the community.


Keywords


Social work; rural health; older people; ageing in place

Full Text:

PDF

References


Aldrich, R. (2010). The ageing demographic transition: The impact on elderly and social workers. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 22(2), 4–12.

Anastas, J. (2004). Quality in qualitative evaluation: Issues and possible answers. Research on Social Work Practice, 14(1), 57–65.

Anderson, C. (2010). Presenting and evaluating qualitative research. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(8), 141. doi:10.5688/aj7408141

Associate Minister of Health. (2016). Healthy ageing strategy. Ministry of Health. Retrieved from https://www.health. govt.nz/system/files/documents/ publications/healthy-ageing-strategy_june_2017.pdf

Brand, J., & Kesting, A. (1999). Sharing the space and blurring the boundaries. In L. Briskman & M. Lynn (Eds.), Challenging rural practice (pp. 162–171). Deakin University Press.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. Sage.

Chalmers, A. I., & Joseph, A. E. (1998). Rural change and the elderly in rural places: Commentaries from New Zealand. Journal of Rural Studies, 14(2), 155–165. doi:10.1016/S0743-0167(97)00050-8

Citizens Advice Bureaux. (2020). Face-to-face and Digital Exclusion. Citizens Advice Bureaux New Zealand.

Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. L. (1999). Using codes and code manuals: A template organising style of interpretation. In B. F. Crabtreee, & W. L. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research (pp.163–177). Sage Publications.

Davey, J. (2006). “Ageing in place”: The views of older homeowners on maintenance, renovation and adaptation. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 27, 128–141.

Dobl, S., Beddoe, L., & Huggard, P. (2017). Primary health care social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: An exploratory investigation. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 29(2), 119–130.

Dobl, S., & Ross, A. (2013). Thinking beyond the contract: A journey to collaborative community social work. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(1), 43–53.

Ergler, C. R., Lovell, S., Watkins, A., Milligan, C., Thompson, L., Exeter, D. J., & Kearns, R. J. (2017). Looking back and moving forward: Health geography in Aotearoa and beyond. New Zealand Geographer, 73(3), 205–217.

Fearnley, D., Lawrenson, R., & Nixon, G. (2016). “Poorly defined”: Unknown unknowns in New Zealand rural health. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 129(1439), 77.

Fine, M. (2020). Reconstructing dependency: Precarity, precariousness and care in old age. In A. Grenier, C. Phillipson, & R. Settersten Jr (Eds.), Precarity and ageing: Understanding insecurity and risk in later life (pp. 169–189). Policy Press.

Flick, U. (2018). Triangulation in data collection. In U. Flick (Ed.), The Sage handbook of qualitative data collection (pp. 527–544). Sage.

Foster, S., & Beddoe, L. (2012). Social work with older adults in primary health: Is it time to move our focus? Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 24(2), 37–48.

Green, R. (2003). Social work in rural areas: A personal and professional challenge. Australian Social Work, 56(3), 209–219.

Grenier, A., Phillipson, C., Rudmand, D., Hatzifilalithisa, S., Kobayashie K., & Marierf, P. (2017). Precarity in late life: Understanding new forms of risk and insecurity. Journal of Ageing Studies 43, 9–14.

Grenier, A., Phillipson, C., & Settersten, R. A. J. (Eds.). (2020). Precarity and ageing: Understanding insecurity and risk in later life. Policy Press.

Groot, S., van Ommen, C., Masters-Awatere, B., & Tassell- Matamua, N. (Eds). (2017). Precarity: Uncertain, insecure and unequal lives in Aotearoa New Zealand. Massey University Press.

Hirst, V. (2019). Burnout in social work: The supervisor’s role. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal, 31(3), 122–126.

Hiscock, R., Pearce, J., Blakely, T., & Witten, K. (2008). Is neighborhood access to health care provision associated with individual-level utilization and satisfaction? Health Services Research, 43(6), 2183–2200.

Howard-Brown, C. (2018). Working towards primary care and aged residential care integration (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.

Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Chapman, R., O’Sullivan, K., Telfar Barnard, L., & Lloyd, B. (2012). Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts. Energy Policy, 49, 134–142.

Johnson, A., Howden-Chapman, P., & Eaqub, S. (2018). A stocktake of New Zealand’s housing February 2018. Retrieved from https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/ files/2018-02/A%20Stocktake%20Of%20New%20 Zealand%27s%20Housing.pdf

Jones, P. (2017, 12 May). Trust could help—Mayor. Otago Daily Times. Retrieved from https://www. odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/trust-could-help- %E2%80%94mayor

Kazi, M. A. F. (2000). Contemporary perspectives in the evaluation of practice. British Journal of Social Work, 30, 755–768.

Keating, N. (2008). Rural ageing: A good place to grow old? Policy Press.

Keating, N., & Phillips, J. (2008). A critical human ecology perspective on rural ageing. In Keating (Ed.), Rural ageing: A good place to grow old? (pp. 1–10). Policy Press.

Koopman-Boyden, P. G., & Reid, S. L. (2009). Internet/e-mail usage and well-being among 65–84 year olds in New Zealand: Policy implications. Educational Gerontology, 35(11), 990–1007.

Lidgard, J. (2006). Ageing in rural areas: A review of the literature. Retrieved from http://www.ewas.net.nz/ Publications/filesEWAS/Rural%20ageing.pdf

Lilburn, L. (2016). Ageing in place and social isolation in rural dwelling older adults (master’s thesis). Massey University, NZ.

Lloyd, L., & Sullivan, M. P. (2018). Ageing, ethics and social welfare: Contemporary social work and social care practices with older people. Ethics and Social Welfare, 12(3), 201–203.

Malatsky, C., & Bourke, L. (2016). Re-producing rural health: Challenging dominant discourses and the manifestation of power. Journal of Rural Studies, 45, 157–164.

McCormack, D., & Salmenniemi, S. (2016). The biopolitics of precarity and the self. European Journal of Cultural Studies 19(1), 3–15.

Ministry of Health. (2001). New Zealand postive ageing strategy. Retrieved from https://www.msd.govt.nz/about- msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/planning- strategy/positive-ageing/

Ministry of Health. (2011). Health of older people. Retrieved from https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/ life-stages/health-older-people?mega=Our%20 work&title=Health%20of%20older%20people.

Mordini, E., & de Hert, P. (Eds.). (2010). Ageing and invisibility (Vol. 7). IOS Press.

Morgan, D. L. (2007). Paradigms lost and pragmatism regained: Methodological implications of combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 48–76.

National Health Committee. (2010). Rural health: Challenges of distance, opportunities for innovation. Ministry of Health. Retrieved from https://www.moh.govt.nz/ notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/A06B332FA631554BCC2576C0 0008CE96/$file/rural-health-challenges-opportunities.pdf

Nicholson, N. R. (2012). A review of social isolation: an important but underassessed condition in older adults The Journal of Primary Prevention, 33(2–3), 137–152.

Nixon, G., Samaranayaka, A., de Graaf, B., McKechnie, R., Blattner, K., & Dovey, S. (2014). Geographic disparities in the utilisation of computed tomography scanning services in southern New Zealand. Health Policy, 118, 222–228.

NZ Labour Party, Green Party of Aotearoa NZ, & Grey Power NZ. (2010). A report into aged care: What does the future hold for older New Zealanders? Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/assets/Dig-deeper/A- report-into-Aged-care.pdf

Office for Seniors. (2016). Attitudes towards ageing. Ministry of Social Development. Retrieved from http://www. superseniors.msd.govt.nz/documents/attitudes-towards- ageing-research/attitudes-toward-ageing-summary- report-2016.pdf

Office for Seniors. (2019). Better later life; he oranga kaumātua 2019 to 2034. Retrieved from http://www. superseniors.msd.govt.nz/documents/better-later-life/ better-later-life-strategy.pdf

O‘Leary, P., Tsui, M. S., & Ruch, G. (2013). The boundaries of the social work relationship revisited: Towards a connected, inclusive and dynamic conceptualisation. British Journal of Social Work, 43(1), 135–153.

Parr, H., & Philo, C. (2003). Rural mental health and social geographies of caring. Social and Cultural Geography, 4(4), 471–488.

Parsons, M., Senior, H. E. J., Kerse, N., Chen, M.-h., Jacobs, S., Vanderhoorn, S., . . . Anderson, C. (2012). The assessment of services promoting independence and recovery in elders trial (ASPIRE): A pre-planned meta- analysis of three independent randomised controlled trial evaluations of ageing in place initiatives in New Zealand. Age and Ageing, 41(6), 722–728. doi:10.1093/ageing/ afs113

Pittaway, M. (2017, July). Accessing rural health services: Rural realities: Rural women in New Zealand. Department of Public Health Seminar, University of Otago, Wellington.

Pomeroy, A., & Newell, J. (2011). Rural community resilience and climate change. A report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, New Zealand. University of Otago.

Pugh, R. (2007). Dual relationships: Personal and professional boundaries in rural social work. British Journal of Social Work, 37(8), 1405–1423.

Rural Expert Advisory Group. (2002). Implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy in rural New Zealand. Ministry of Health. Retrieved from https:// www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/5e 56a47c1768d27ecc256c190076e807/$FILE/ RuralPrimaryHealthStrategyImplementation.pdf

Scharf, T., & Bartlam, B. (2008). Ageing and social exclusion in rural communities. In N. Keating (Ed.), Rural ageing: A good place to grow old? (pp. 97–108). Policy Press.

Schwandt, T. A. (1998). Constructivist, interpretivist approaches to human inquiry. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The landscape of qualitative research: Theories and issues (pp. 221–259). Sage.

Settersten, R., Jr. (2020). How life course dynamics matter for precarity in later life. In A. Grenier, C. Phillipson, & R. Settersten Jr. (Eds.), Precarity and ageing: Understanding insecurity and risk in later life (pp. 19–40). Policy Press.

Shankar, A., McMunn, A., Banks, J., & Steptoe, A. (2011). Loneliness, social isolation, and behavioral and biological health indicators in older adults. Health Psychology, 30(4), 377–385.

Smith, K., Humphreys, J., & Wilson, M. (2008). Addressing the health disadvantage of rural populations: how does epidemiological evidence inform rural health policies and research? Australian Journal of Rural Health, 16(2), 56–66.

Smith, P. (2013). Whose culture is it anyway? Social working within a rural community. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(1), 14–23.

Southern District Health Board. (2019). Draft report: Pēhea tou Kāinga. How’s your home? Central Otago housing: The human story. Retrieved from https://www. southernhealth.nz/sites/default/files/2019-09/SDHB%20 CODC%20Housing%20report%20%20-%20%2020%20 Sept%202019.pdf

Statistics New Zealand. (2020a). Population. Retrieved from https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/population

Statistics New Zealand. (2020b). Central Otago District. Retrieved from https://www.stats.govt.nz/tools/2018- census-place-summaries/central-otago-district

SuperSeniors. (2020). Age-friendly communities. Retrieved from http://www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/about-superseniors/ office-for-seniors/age-friendly-communities.html

Teh, R., Kerse, N., Kepa, M., Doughty, R. N., Moyes, S., Wiles, J., ... & Mace, C. (2014). Self-rated health, health- related behaviours and medical conditions of Maori

and non-Maori in advanced age: LiLACS NZ. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 127(1397).

Thomas, D. R. (2006). A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237–246.

Walkner, T. J. , Weare, A. M. , & Tully, M. (2018). “You get old. You get invisible”: Social isolation and the challenge of communicating with aging women. Journal of Women and Aging, 30(5), 399–416.

Wenger, C., & Keating, N. (2008). The evolution of networks of older rural adults. In N. Keating (Ed.), Rural ageing: A good place to grow old? (pp. 33–42). Policy Press.

Wiles, J. L., Leibing, A., Guberman, N., Reeve, J., & Allen, R. E. (2012). The meaning of “aging in place” to older people. The Gerontologist, 52(3), 357–366.

Williams, M. (2007). Invisible, unequal, and forgotten: Health disparities in the elderly. Notre Dame Journal of Ethics & Pubic Policy, 21, 441–478.

Wright-St Clair, V., Neville, S., Forsyth, V., White, L., & Napier, S. (2017). Integrative review of older adult loneliness and social isolation in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 36(2), 114–123.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol32iss4id799

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.