Supporting networks and living arrangement expectations: exploring narratives of people aged 75 and over in remote areas of Molise, Italy.

Micol Pizzolati, University of Molise
Cecilia Tomassini, University of Molise

Population ageing in Italy is particularly pronounced in remote areas (defined as municipalities that are 40 minutes away from basic infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, and public transport) given the persistent outflow of young people. Additionally, remote areas are characterised by reduced provision of basic resources for the needs of older people. In this context, there is growing concern at local policies level about the challenge to provide care for a growing proportion of older people while facing severe budget constraints that limit the supply of services. As municipalities have fluctuating capacities with respect to financial and employee resources, it is assumed that the supply and access to different kinds of services vary at local level. This paper aims to investigate how people aged over 75 living inner areas of Molise Region in Italy are supported to cope with their care needs. Framed in an analysis of the characteristics of regional inner areas based on macro demographical and socio-economic indicators, a qualitative in-depth study investigated the experiences of ageing in a selected sample of 44 people aged over 75 living in their own home, alone or with their partner/sibling, in a sample of remote areas’ Municipalities. A man and a woman were recruited in each town through the support of civil service volunteers. The main aim of the analysis was to highlights the structure and the functioning of support networks. The topic guide includes questions related to biography, representation of socio-territorial context, family and social network, home environment, daily life, need, representations of dependence and independence, formal and informal actors involved in daily assistance, representations of frailty and strength. The research elaborates typologies that could be sensitive to the role of place in care arrangements and able to explain peculiarities of ageing processes in remote areas.

Presented in Session 9: Individual Ageing 1