Awarded $24,551 to complete study: Online and in-person social support as protective factors for depressive symptoms among older caregivers in rural Australia.
This mixed methods study aims to investigate whether online social supports and/or in-person social supports are protective against depression for older rural caregivers. Caregivers are particularly vulnerable to psychological disorders, impacting caregiver health, quality of care and risks of abuse to care recipients. Limited social supports and formal services in rural areas, compounded by the pandemic and bushfires, have highlighted the importance of digital platforms in maintaining social connection and wellbeing. This study will provide an evidence base for the development of interventions to address known issues of isolation and depression for older caregivers in rural Australia.