A new research project is looking to understand why older women, particularly those living alone, are at increased risk of homelessness, poverty and other factors affecting their physical, mental and social wellbeing.

RDNS Institute has launched the Older Women Living Alone research project, funded by a $250,000 grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The Australian study aims to create service options that create better health and wellbeing for older women.

The two-year project, which started in January, will include analysis of 10 years of clinical data from more than 50,000 older women living alone in Melbourne as well as interviews and forums with about 50 women aged 55 or older who live alone.

The interviews will identify barriers to service access and gaps in service provision, and the forums will bring women together with service providers to create services and strategies that address their high priority support needs.

“We know older women living alone are generally at higher risk of late life issues including elder abuse, and they don’t usually access services in the same way as couples or older men living alone,” project co-ordinator Dr Marissa Dickins said.

“We will be looking at why that is – what are the barriers to accessing services that older women are coming up against, and are there strategies that can be put in place to increase their access?

“We’ll then co-create some services and strategies with older women and service providers and evaluate the impact they might have in reducing burdens on the health system.”

Details at https://www.rdns.com.au/research/

 

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