Rural Living: Elderly suffer in the countryside

Elderly people living in the countryside can expect less homecare, fewer residential places and less help with their travel costs than their urban counterparts. The message of a research report by the Rural Development Commission, a government agency, is "Don't be old in the countryside."

Largely because of the way resources are allocated, councils in urban areas are able to offer many more hours of homecare than those in rural areas. At its most extreme, in 1995 Lincolnshire provided only 25 per cent of the number of hours service per 1,000 people aged 75 or over of that provided by Manchester and Westminster. The report also found rural councils spent half as much on adult education per head as inner London boroughs.

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