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Elder care, rural health, Cutler Institute, Population Health and Health Policy, USM Aging Initiative, Health and Wellness


Rural communities and elders need better access to elder care options that enable them to continue to live in the community. Despite a larger proportion of the population over age 65 than urban and suburban America, rural communities lack the services and care coordination systems older adults need to continue living independently in their own communities as they age.

In November 2008, the Rural Long Term Care Workgroup convened a national Rural Long Term Care: Access and Options Workshop to identify lessons and strategies for building and sustaining rural community-based elder care services. Finding and building on successful models is an important step towards addressing the challenges faced by rural elders seeking care options in their communities. These options include home, community, and facility-based care supported by care coordination systems that enhance autonomy and quality of life of rural elders. These proceedings of the Workshop are organized around the following topics:

  1. The challenges and opportunities for expanding rural elder care options;
  2. Five rural elder care models that work;
  3. A Rural Elder Care Options Model, a web-based, interactive tool that rural communities can use to customize the options to their specific community;
  4. The organizational attributes and strong partnerships needed to build rural community options for elder care;
  5. Strategies for increasing access and options for elder care in rural communities; and
  6. Steps to move forward in building rural communities that support elder care.


Proceedings from the 2008 Rural Long Term Care: Access and Options Workshop Presented by the Rural Long Term Care Workgroup.