Meeting needs in rural and remote communities

In rural areas, older people often face the twin problems of sustaining agriculture without support from their urban-residing children, while also trying to overcome the debt burdens of raising their family. Statistics show that elderly rural residents have a lower life-expectancy compared to their urban equivalents, and must deal with a higher – and therefore more burdensome – dependency ratio. This is coupled with comparatively limited infrastructure and inadequate access to health and social services.

The brunt of changing sociological conditions, in some developing countries, that force grandparents to act as fulltime carers for their grandchildren increases the level of uncertainty for older people in rural parts of the world challenged with diseases like HIV/AIDs.

Examples of effective policies and programs from foreign countries most applicable to rural policy development are encouraged. Specifically, papers that analyze existing family dynamics, community and social structures, and challenges that elders face within the rural areas are of particular interest.