Older aboriginal Australians’ health concerns and preferences for healthy ageing programs

Pamela Ming Wettasinghe, Wendy Allan, Gail Garvey, Alison Timbery, Sue Hoskins, Madeleine Veinovic, Gail Daylight, Holly A. Mack, Cecilia Minogue, Terrence Donovan, Gerald A. Broe, Kylie Radford, Kim Delbaere

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    Abstract

    While there is strong evidence of the need for healthy ageing programs for older Aboriginal Australians, few are available. It is important to understand older Aboriginal Australians’ perspectives on healthy ageing in order to co-design culturally-appropriate programs, including views on technology use in this context. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 Aboriginal Australians aged 50 years and older from regional and urban communities to explore participants’ health concerns, preferences for healthy ageing programs, and receptiveness to technology. Qualitative data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. This study found that older Aboriginal Australians are concerned about chronic health conditions, social and emotional well-being, and difficulties accessing health services. A range of barriers and enablers to participation in current health programs were identified. From the perspective of older Aboriginal people, a successful healthy ageing program model includes physical and cognitive activities, social interaction, and health education. The program model also provides culturally safe care and transport for access as well as family, community, cultural identity, and empowerment regarding ageing well as central tenets. Technology could also be a viable approach for program delivery. These findings can be applied in the implementation and evaluation of culturally-appropriate, healthy ageing programs with older Aboriginal people.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7390
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Volume17
    Issue number20
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020

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