Rural Aging, Women, Faith in Action, and Fertilizer of the Vertical Kind

By Bump, Karen J.; Harris, Sherlyn et al. | International Journal of Humanities and Peace, Annual 2003 | Go to article overview

Rural Aging, Women, Faith in Action, and Fertilizer of the Vertical Kind


Bump, Karen J., Harris, Sherlyn, Jones, Stephanie Tubbs, International Journal of Humanities and Peace


It's no secret that we have the privilege of living at a time in history when people are living longer and longer lives. This article discusses the issues facing rural communities and older women in terms of accessing health and human services. An innovative model for rural community eldercare is discussed and then followed up with comment from an Americorp VISTA volunteer currently serving in rural Arizona.

Demographics of Arizona's Rural Elders

In the United States, between 1990 and 2000, the elderly population (age 65+) increased by 12% while in Arizona it increased by 40% (Arizona Department of Economic Security, Summer 2001). According to the most recent census, 13.2 % of the population in Arizona is 65 and older. Those eiders age 85+ are the fastest growing segment of the population, increasing by 82% over the last decade (Arizona Department of Economic Security, 2001). Women account for 58% of the population age 65 and older and 70% of the population age 85 and older (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000).

The growth of rural elder populations lags behind growth in urban areas in general. Nevertheless, there are "fertile retirement pockets" in rural communities where percentages swell to 30-43% (Northern Arizona Council Of Governments, 1995; Department of Economic Security, 1999). While this is a good thing in that elders bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and service commitment to the community, it also presents challenges in terms of meeting a growing need for health care, emergency facilities, and home and community-based services.

Many people retire to the rural community because the "living is easy" and the "price is right". In just a few years they find their expenses rising, their health deteriorating and their family support system thousands of miles away. Indigenous rural elder families that have "aged in place" are facing similar situations due to lower social security benefits, widowhood, and urban "flight" of younger generations. An analysis of intake data for those utilizing community-based services in four Arizona rural counties shows that 72 percent of elders needing assistance are female, over age 70, and living alone on a fixed income. Twenty-five percent receive as little as $250-500 dollars a month and have little or no social support system. Sixty percent of those served overall report having trouble meeting their basic expenses.

According to the USDA Economic Research Service (2000) two-thirds of all women 60 and older have household incomes under $10,000. These low-income elders are unable to afford and access the health care needed as they increase in age. Finding a primary care physician in the rural area that accepts Medicare independent of expensive supplementary insurance policies can be a daunting task. If one is fortunate enough to find a doctor, then affordable transportation to medical appointments becomes an ongoing problem for many with regional hospitals located up to 40 miles away and specialists treating specific chronic conditions located 90 miles away. There is no public transportation in the rural counties of Arizona. Moreover, assisted living and supervisory care options are both limited and cost prohibitive, too often forcing premature institutionalization when an older person's health begins to decline.

The Problem That Has No Name

The population of older adults age 65+ is projected to continue to increase at a rate of 1.3 percent annually until 2010, and then to rapidly begin increasing annually by 2.8 percent between 2010 and 2030 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). These projections have resulted in growing concern among health care providers and policy makers, since older adults use a disproportionate amount of health care services. While current healthcare costs are difficult to obtain, Torrez (1997) reports that in 1987 older adults represented 12.3 percent of the population, and accounted for 36 percent of the total health care expenditure. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rural Aging, Women, Faith in Action, and Fertilizer of the Vertical Kind
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.