The secret to resilience in Blayney

Joan Stonestreet says that being involved in the community is of great benefit.
Joan Stonestreet says that being involved in the community is of great benefit.

Modern day diet gurus may leave you thinking that the secret to a long and happy life is by consuming some sort of superfood and doing Yoga.

Researchers from Charles Sturt University’s Rural Resilience Research Group are looking for volunteers in Blayney that are 70 or over to ask the question, ‘What skills, resources and positive strategies are required by people as they age in rural communities in the central west region of NSW?'

For 84 year old Blayney resident Joan Stonestreet, the concept of retirement just isn’t on the agenda.

“We still live on the farm just out of town and we have a large garden with chooks and dogs so we’re busy all day,” she said.

Mrs Stonestreet believes that being involved within the community you live is part of what makes a difference.

“I’ve always been a part of community groups and involved in what is going on around town. You have to keep an interest in things apart than yourself.”

Chief investigator for the project, Dr Ann Lazarsfeld-Jensen, said that the project will look at the ways rural people make decisions and find strategies to stay in their community and age well.

"We are interested in the character and motivations of those who are ageing in an area of the state that is somewhat remote from standard services,” she said.

"The research team would like to make contact with many people who are ageing and who have demonstrated resilience. We would like to interview them to find if there are any common elements that might be useful in future policy development for ageing rural communities.”

For Mrs Stonestreet living in Blayney is the perfect mix of country and small town living, as well as the proximity to larger centres.

“We have some fairly good services here in Blayney and if you need to go somewhere bigger for any reason there’s always Orange and Bathurst,” she said.

For more information, please contact Ms Vianne Tourle on 6338 4953.