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Keeping Connected With Grey Nomads

As retirees hitch up the caravan and hit the road, a Charles Sturt University (CSU) researcher hopes learning how these ‘Grey Nomads’ communicate will uncover the best way of providing health and wellbeing information for full-time travellers.

Ms Margaret Dalmau is carrying out the research as part of her Master of Gerontology, through CSU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Gerontology is the study of ageing and Ms Dalmau is examining how Grey Nomads keep in touch with family and friends while travelling.

“There’s not a lot of documented information about the experiences of longer term travellers who have been on the road for more than a year, and even less about how this group of Grey Nomads maintain and develop their social connections,” Ms Dalmau said.

The project is targeting people over 55 years of age, who have been travelling for more than 12 months.

The first stage is a short survey about their motivation for travel and how they stay in contact with family and friends.

Following that, some participants will be interviewed to gain a greater understanding of their experiences and support networks.

“This research will help to identify how people stay connected and the forms of communication they use to do so,” Ms Dalmau said. “This in turn will assist in suggesting ways of providing important health and wellbeing information for those travelling full-time.”

Ms Dalmau has a background in health care but is no stranger to life on the wide open road, spending 16 months travelling with her partner Frank around Australia from August 2008.

“Our own experiences of being on the road and maintaining contact with our families along the way via mobile phone and emails did influence the choice of subject for this research,” she said.

The couple now manage a caravan park in Moama in southern NSW.

People interested in taking part in the research can contact Ms Dalmau by email:frank.marg3@bigpond.com
or mobile number 0427 311 583.

Media Officer: Emily Malone

Telephone: 02 69332207