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How community organisations contribute to healthy ageing

DAYSON Chris, et al
2022

Evaluation report of the Leeds Neighbourhood Network (LNN) – a community of 37 groups that provide a wide range of opportunities supporting healthy ageing. The report draws on six in-depth case studies, exploring reasons for their success and implications for health and social care policy. Each case study involved a desk-based review of existing evidence and data, and qualitative research with 57 LNN staff, volunteers, members and partners. The evaluation finds that the networks support prevention of ill health through community-based activities and support; help people to manage long-term conditions in order to delay illness severity and maintain a good quality of life; assist people with significant support needs to reduce pressure on healthcare providers. The evaluation also considers the evidence related to the five ‘mechanisms of change’ that underpin the LNNs’ contribution to healthy ageing: resources; range of activities; relationships, responsiveness to their members' needs; and reassurance. The findings of this report suggest four key implications for health and social care policy and the role of community-based organisations supporting priorities associated with people in later life and health ageing. These include: the importance of prevention; the value of long-term investment in the core work of community based organisations; mechanisms community-based organisations need to thrive and the need to ‘level-up’ support for people in later life at a neighbourhood level.

Leeds Neighbourhood Networks report

CENTRE FOR AGEING BETTER
2022

This report shares the latest insights from the evaluation of the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks (LNNs), building on previous research. The Leeds Neighbourhood Network is made up of 37 community groups that provide a wide range of opportunities, activities and services. They are made up of local schemes that aim to support older people to remain living independently and to participate in their communities through a range of neighbourhood-based activities and services. The report draws on in-depth case studies of six LNNs. Each case study involved a desk-based review of existing evidence and data, and qualitative research with LNN staff, volunteers, members and partners. The evaluation finds that the networks support prevention of ill health through community-based activities and support; help people to manage long-term conditions in order to delay illness severity and maintain a good quality of life; assist people with significant support needs to reduce pressure on healthcare providers.

Arts and culture in every care home?

NATIONAL ACTIVITY PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
2021

This report presents the findings from a consultation that asked: What would it require for all care homes to offer their residents access to relevant creative and cultural opportunities on a daily basis? This consultation was commissioned by the Baring Foundation and conducted by National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) Arts in Care Homes as the first stage in a national (England) conversation about what a daily offer of arts and care homes might look like. The consultation engaged care homes residents, managers, staff and activity coordinators and residents’ families. Data collection included: 114 surveys were filled in by 67 care homes in England; artist-led workshops held in five care homes; 18 case studies and four fictional portraits were created. A key finding was that there was strong support for the desire for a daily arts and culture offer. Another key finding was that the families and friends of residents expressed a strong interest in joining in with arts and cultural engagement alongside their family member or friend. The main barriers to achieving a daily offer in the view of participating care homes and barriers to delivering arts and creative engagement generally were: time constraints; lack of specialist knowledge; staff structure and how teams work together; and resources in terms of ideas. Key enablers included: community and arts partnerships; culture shift in terms of belief in necessity of regular creative engagement; more specialist training in arts and activities for people with complex needs; and more resources in terms of creative ideas. This report will inform and be followed by an independent discussion paper on how the different parts of the system can best play their parts and be resourced to do so.

A window of opportunity: delivering prevention in an ageing world

HIMAWAN Arunima, PARSEY Lily
2022

This report brings together findings from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) UK's two-year global engagement programme and data analysis on how to deliver prevention in an ageing world. Key findings include: By 2050, the proportion of people aged 50 and over will increase by 11 percentage points, resulting in 40% of the G20 population being aged over 50; G20 citizens aged 50 and over collectively lived 118 million years with disabilities in 2019 due to largely preventable diseases; and across the G20, preventable conditions cost economies 1.02 trillion USD in yearly productivity loss among those aged 50-64 – this is roughly equivalent to the estimated loss in global worker income for the first half of 2021 as a result of COVID-19. Key actions needed: secure investment in systems designed for prevention, to enable action to: inspire and engage policymakers, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and individuals to invest, promote, and take action on prevention; democratise access to prevention to reduce health inequalities; and use technology effectively to improve access to preventative healthcare, improve uptake rates, reduce barriers, and empower patients. The analysis concludes: that while there are clear health and economic benefits to investing in preventative healthcare throughout people’s lives and despite repeated commitments to prioritise prevention at the G20 level, and the creation of a joint task force involving finance and health ministers, action continues to lag.

Longitudinal associations between formal volunteering and well-being among retired older people: follow-up results from a randomized controlled trial

JONGENELIS Michelle I., et al
2022

Volunteering has been identified as a potential mechanism for improving the psychosocial health of older adults. Utilizing a randomized controlled trial approach, the present study assessed the extent to which commencing volunteering can improve psychosocial health outcomes for older people. Fully retired Australian adults aged 60+ years (N= 445) were assessed at baseline and allocated to either the intervention or control arms of the trial. Those in the intervention condition were asked to participate in at least 60 min of formal volunteering per week for 6 months. Per-protocol analyses were conducted comparing psychosocial outcomes for those who complied with the intervention condition (n= 73) to outcomes for those who complied with the control condition (n= 112). Those who complied with the intervention condition demonstrated significant improvements in life satisfaction, purpose in life, and personal growth scores over a 12-month period relative to those in the control condition who did no volunteering. Findings provide evidence of a causal relationship between commencing volunteering and improvements in psychosocial health among older adults and indicate that encouraging participation in this activity could constitute an effective healthy aging intervention.

Enabling middle-aged and older adults accessing community services to reduce social isolation: community connectors

GIEBEL Clarissa, et al
2022

A large number of older adults (65+ years) live on their own, and can experience high levels of loneliness. However, accessing activities to engage with their community can be difficult either due to their age and associated comorbidities, such as frailty, or due to financial reasons, for lacking the funds to access transport to activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate an existing service in the North West of England, Community Connectors, which enables people aged 18 and above to access social activities within their community in order to reduce loneliness and social isolation. This study only included middle-aged and older adults. A total of 13 semi-structured interviews were performed after people had taken part in the 14-week Community Connectors programme. Data were coded by two research team members by using thematic analysis. Members of the public were involved in the design of this study, and in the dissemination. Between June 2017 to September 2018, 234 older adults and 53 middle-aged adults were referred to Community Connectors. Four themes emerged from the interviews: falling out of society; easy self-referral; structured supportive services; and reconnecting with community. Services often depend on individuals making the first step to access, however, without easy or facilitated access people can becoming isolated. Participants reported on how Community Connectors provided easy and open access that enabled better response to individual needs. The structured support provided individuals with confidence in engaging with community activities and enhanced individuals’ social networks. Community Connectors enables middle-aged and older adults to engage with social activities in their community, and thus helps participants to feel less lonely and more socially connected. Future work needs to quantitatively measure the impacts of the service on loneliness, depression, and social connectedness in order to fully understand their impact.

An intergenerational playgroup in an Australian residential aged-care setting: a qualitative case study

HERNANDEZ Gabrielle B. Rosa, MURRAY Carolyn M., STANLEY Mandy
2022

Intergenerational programs are emerging within the aged-care context as they provide a unique opportunity for older adults living with or without cognitive impairments to connect with children. One type of intergenerational program is an ‘intergenerational playgroup’ which creates opportunities for children to develop their skills, parents to create a local peer support network and provides older adults at risk of isolation with vital community interaction. The objective of this research was to evaluate an intergenerational playgroup taking place weekly within a residential aged-care setting. A qualitative case study research design was used to perform five observation sessions and semi-structured in-depth interviews. All members of the group (older adults and caregivers) as well as involved staff were invited to participate. Consent from any older adults with known cognitive impairment was sought from next of kin. Consent for children was provided by caregivers. A total of 12 clients (n = 8 diagnosis of dementia, 4 without dementia; 11 females, 1 male), three staff members, and 10 caregivers and their children (0–5 years) provided consent to be observed. Of these, five older adults (all female, 1 with diagnosis of dementia), three staff and five caregivers participated in interviews. Data were analysed thematically. Four key themes: Learning from each other; Appreciating experience in the moment; Connecting through play; and A sense of home and belonging were identified. These themes suggest that older adults play an active role in the dynamics of the playgroup, often being ‘in the moment’ during play, but also actively reminiscing on their past experiences of childhood. The sense of an inclusive and supportive community with a culture of being open to learning and to different perspectives was strong. The findings support the role of intergenerational playgroups for promoting community engagement with benefits of building relationships and connectivity for all stakeholders.

Nature-based activities for people living with dementia: a nice day out or a matter of human rights?

EVANS Simon Chester, et al
2022

Purpose: There is growing interest in and evidence for the benefits of connecting with nature for people living with dementia, sometimes known as “green care”, including reduced stress, improved sleeping and even enhanced cognition. However, many people living with dementia are denied such opportunities, often because of practitioner perceptions of risk and poor design of outdoor spaces. This paper reports on the evaluation of a project that worked with national providers to give people living with dementia opportunities and support to access the natural environment. Design/methodology/approach: The evaluation adopted a mixed-methods approach, using a combination of bespoke and commonly used tools and in-depth case study work to identify the facilitators and challenges to delivering the project and explore the experiences of activity participants. Findings: Qualitative measures indicated a significant improvement in mental well-being for participants with dementia and family carers following attendance at activity sessions. Research interviews indicated that participants enjoyed activities based on connecting with nature. Being outdoors was a major factor in the experience, along with taking part in activities that were meaningful and opportunities for social interaction. Originality/value: This paper provides evidence for the benefits of connecting with nature for people living with dementia. This paper concludes that access to the outdoors is not a luxury, it is a basic human right and one which has become increasingly important in light of restrictions that have emerged as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

Assets-based approaches to developing age friendly communities: learning from the bristol ageing better programme

BEARDMORE Amy, et al
2022

Purpose: International attention is increasingly turning to the challenge of creating age-friendly environments. This study aims to examine the application of asset-based approaches in undertaking community development projects with older people. The paper intends to share the learning that may be useful when designing community development projects for older people in the future. Design/methodology/approach: This study followed a multiple project case study design, with a focus on project delivery practices. It was undertaken as a co-production exercise involving university researchers and trained older volunteer community researchers (CRs). Over 18–24 months of qualitative research was conducted in relation to six area-based urban projects between 2018 and 2020. Findings: There were five leading themes as follows: mapping and building on assets in highly localised settings; creating governance and direction through steering groups; developing activities with diverse groups of older people; reaching isolated and lonely older people; building local capacity to embed sustainability. Practical implications: The effectiveness of assets-based approaches in promoting age-friendly agendas appears to be contingent on the values, skills, capacity and resourcing of delivery agencies, alongside wider public sector investment in communities. Diversity and inequalities amongst older people need to be taken into account and community development that specifically focuses on older people needs to be balanced with the whole population and intergenerational practice. Originality/value: This paper provides an empirical account of the practical application of assets practices specifically in the context of the age-friendly community agenda. The co-production method brings together insights from academic and volunteer older CRs.

Supporting creative ageing through the arts: the impacts and implementation of a creative arts programme for older people

EVANS Simon Chester, BRAY Jennifer, GARABEDIAN Claire
2022

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on an independent evaluation of a three-year “Creative Ageing” programme, focussing on the impacts for participants and factors promoting successful delivery of sessions. Design/methodology/approach: Artists provided feedback through reflective journals and questionnaires, while the views of care staff and participants were also captured in a standard format at the end of each arts session. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified common themes. Findings: Twenty-three arts projects were delivered across a range of settings and through diverse art forms including dance, drama, music, visual arts and poetry. They reached nearly 2,200 participants who recorded over 8,100 session attendances in total. Participation in high quality creative experiences improved well-being for older people, as well as increasing social interaction and reducing isolation. Several factors facilitated successful implementation and delivery of the activities, particularly the need to hold planning meetings with staff to provide guidance around participant numbers and suitability, minimising disruption of the sessions and the supportive role of staff during the sessions. Opportunities for reflection enabled artists to address potential challenges and adapt their practice to meet the needs and preferences of participants and to the complexities of diverse settings. Originality/value: Previous research has largely focussed on the impact of activities in a single setting. This study supports the role of creative arts in increasing social interaction as an attempt to tackle isolation and loneliness, both for older people living in the community and for those living in a communal setting such as care homes and supported living schemes.

Results 1 - 10 of 829

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News

Prevention in social care

Prevention in social care What it means, the policy context, role for commissioners and practitioners and the evidence base.

H4All wellbeing service

H4All wellbeing service Practice example about how H4All Wellbeing Service is using the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) tool

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families
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