Rural communities may not be as close-knit and accommodating for seniors as widely believed, a researcher from the University of Alberta has said.
“There is an assumption that because rural cultural values include helpfulness and neighbourliness, most rural seniors are helped by a large group of family, friends and neighbours. But that isn’t the case for some people,” said Jennifer Swindle, a U of A researcher who carried out the study for her PhD thesis, in a release yesterday.
The research, which surveyed 1,312 adults aged 65 and older across Canada, said 15 per cent of seniors who had a circle of friends and family received no support, while close to nine per cent of seniors who received support had few people who provided help with chores, shopping and transportation to medical appointments.
“Family does play an important role and not everybody has family available and … not everyone has the support,” Swindle told Metro on the phone yesterday.