Tyranny of dis­tance a worry for se­niors

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

WITH se­nior’s week in full swing, the Gazette spoke with Mar­jorie Nor­ris, a prom­i­nent Moss­man local and Pres­i­dent of Moss­man District Nurs­ing Home In­cor­po­rated about chal­lenges fac­ing aged res­i­dents in the shire.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Nor­ris, Dou­glas Shire is a good place to re­tire to as long as you are in good health.

She ex­plained that this wasn’t due to a lack of ser­vices, but the dis­tances in­volved in trav­el­ling across the shire.

“As you age and you live a dis­tance from town you are al­ways con­cerned that you will lose your driver’s li­cence, and that’s a big im­ped­i­ment to liv­ing in coun­try ar­eas, so as you age you think about mov­ing into town, and that’s a huge con­sid­er­a­tion.

“We don’t live in an area where we have ac­cess to trains and buses and taxis are ex­pen­sive, so it be­comes quite a prob­lem when that hap­pens and your health fails.

“As we age if we’re liv­ing out­side of the in­ner town ar­eas then we do have prob­lems,” she said.

Al­though the dis­tances are a draw­back, Ms Nor­ris said that the beauty of the area made liv­ing in Dou­glas Shire very at­trac­tive for re­tirees.

“We live in a beau­ti­ful area with a beau­ti­ful cli­mate -we have ac­cess to so many beau­ti­ful places be it the rivers, the beach or the rain­for­est – and the towns.

“Most of us are very com­fort­able do­ing the hours travel to Cairns and com­ing home again – it’s a nice out­ing for us pro­vid­ing we don’t have a lot of things to do in Cairns.”

Ms Nor­ris said that a lot of aged res­i­dents had moved to the shire to be with their youn- ger fam­i­lies.

“What’ve we’ve no­ticed hap­pen­ing is you get young ones com­ing here to work and stay here, and then their par­ents come here to re­tire.

“Older fam­i­lies move in to be with their younger fam­i­li­es­they love the en­vi­ron­ment and the geog­ra­phy.”

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