Making Rural and Remote Communities More Age-Friendly: Experts’ Perspectives of Issues, Challenges and Priorities
With the growing interest world-wide in making communities more age-friendly, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the factors that help or hinder communities in attaining this goal. In this paper, we focus on rural and remote communities and present perspectives of 42 experts in the areas of aging, rural and remote issues, and policy, who participated in a consensus conference on age-friendly rural and remote communities. Discussions highlighted that strengths in rural and remote communities, such as easy access to local leaders and existing partnerships, can help to further age-friendly goals; however, addressing major challenges, such as lack of infrastructure and limited availability of social and health services require regional or national government buy-in and funding opportunities. Age-friendly work in rural and remote communities is, therefore, ideally embedded in larger age-friendly initiatives and supported by regional or national policies, programs, and funding sources.