Rural areas in developing countries have been undergoing a rapid population ageing in the last decades. As a result, a greater proportion of older persons are living in the rural compared to the urban areas. The rural area is heterogeneous in spatial and structural context, causing myriad diversity in experience of growing older in that area. While rural older persons generally have greater health needs compared to urban elders, unfortunately, living in rural areas is also linked to unfavourable challenges for older people. For example, population sparsity, less access to key facilities both in terms of distance and remoteness, limited transportation, economic resources and significantly less access to health care and pension support. Moreover older persons in rural areas have to keep on working on their farm for survival with limited traditional tools and conventional way of farming. Their daily activities include collecting firewood, water, and looking after grandchildren that can be a strain for their health. In addition, fewer children are now available to support older parents due to the changing of kinship in rural families and due to out-migration of adult children.
However, little is known on how different settings of rural areas shape the life experience of older persons. This study highlights the diversity of ageing experiences between different types of rural areas and for different subgroups of individuals within the rural older population in Indonesia. This research aims to conduct an in-depth study to investigate the heterogeneity of growing older experience, particularly regarding the activities of daily living (ADL) impairment and related experience of rural older persons. The study will apply both micro- and macro-level theory of ageing to examine the patterns and adjustment of older people at an individual level and to examine the relation of the wider structural context of different rural settings.
Using data of 2,750 older individuals aged 60 and over from Ageing in Rural Indonesia Study (ARIS) 2016, this research aims to show that spatial patterns of ageing in the rural area are unequal. Particularly regarding the patterns and severity of ADL impairment, receipt of long-term care, care provider, and the extent of unmet needs among rural older persons.
Nur Cahyadi is a PhD candidate in the School of Demography at the Australian National University (ANU). He holds a master’s degree in social research from ANU and a master’s degree in development economics from Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. Nur was the Survey Data Manager of Ageing in Rural Indonesia Study 2016. Before joining the PhD program, he was a Senior Quantitative Evaluation Specialist at the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) of the Vice President Office of the Republic of Indonesia. He has previously worked as a Research Analyst for the World Bank Office Jakarta for various research projects in Indonesia. His current research interests focus on exploring ageing experience in developing countries.