Understanding the planning and preparation for diabetes self-management of grey nomads when travelling in rural and remote Australia: An exploratory survey

Anita De Bellis, Christine McCloud, Wendy Abigail, Pauline Hill, Jane Giles, Marc Apolloni, Carolyn Gregoric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Many older Australians with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, are taking to the road in a recreational vehicle following retirement and are colloquially known as grey nomads. This exploratory online survey aimed to ascertain the issues on the road for grey nomads with diabetes and their experiences of self-management of their diabetes whilst in rural and remote regions of Australia. 

Methods: Following ethical approval and piloting, an online survey was distributed through social media sites used by grey nomads and those with diabetes. From the closed and open-ended responses from travelers with diabetes in rural and remote areas, the demographics of this cohort were explored, as well as their self-management of diabetes. 

Results: A total of 103 grey nomads with diabetes responded and 81 completed all survey questions. There was wide variation in the respondents' answers in regard to their self-management including their preparation for travel; their knowledge of diabetes and accessing health-care services; their management of illness; and their experiences whilst travelling including the effects of COVID-19. It was identified that there was a need for an increase in preparation prior to travel, and several important checks were identified for this planning specific to rural and remote areas of Australia, including the expectations of health services in these regions. 

Conclusions: A pretravel checklist for travellers with diabetes is recommended to contribute to better self-management of grey nomads with diabetes on the road in order to alleviate the issues identified.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date13 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Australia
  • diabetes mellitus
  • rural health
  • self-management
  • travel

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