Older women living alone have higher rates of poverty and chronic disease than women living with others or men, limiting their ability to stay independent and well.
“The OWLA project is working with older women in the community to look at the barriers they face and the support they feel would help them maintain their independence and wellbeing,” Bolton Clarke Research Institute’s Senior Research Fellow Rajna Ogrin said.
“We have included input from almost 50 older women from diverse backgrounds living in different parts of Melbourne: Dandenong North, Kensington, Frankston East, Hoppers Crossing, Kingsbury, Kilsyth, Ringwood, Box Hill North, Fitzroy North to name a few. We sought specific input from eleven of these women about supports for independence and wellbeing, going to them in the North, South and East of Melbourne, to help them share with us their knowledge and experiences.”
The research team has also sought input from key service and support providers from councils, nursing organisation, health services, not-for-profit service providers and Primary Health Networks to share their expertise in what is possible to help these women stay well and independent.
“By the end, we will all have contributed to the co-creation of supports for women to address the gaps in what is available now.” The two-year project will be completed in November.
The organisation is already planning to develop the concepts to a point where they could be piloted and applied in communities around Australia.