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Results for 'friendship'

Results 1 - 10 of 10

A pilot programme evaluation of social farming horticultural and occupational activities for older people in Italy

GAGLIARDI Cristina, et al
2019

The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1‐year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow‐up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34%. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours.

Interventions to address social connectedness and loneliness for older adults: a scoping review

O'ROURKE Hannah M., COLLINS Laura, SIDANI Souraya
2018

Background: Older adults are at risk for loneliness, and interventions to promote social connectedness are needed to directly address this problem. The nature of interventions aimed to affect the distinct, subjective concepts of loneliness/social connectedness has not been clearly described. The purpose of this review was to map the literature on interventions and strategies to affect loneliness/social connectedness for older adults. Methods: A comprehensive scoping review was conducted. Six electronic databases were searched from inception in July 2015, resulting in 5530 unique records. Standardized inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, resulting in a set of 44 studies (reported in 54 articles) for further analysis. Data were extracted to describe the interventions and strategies, and the context of the included studies. Analytic techniques included calculating frequencies, manifest content analysis and meta-summary. Results: Interventions were described or evaluated in 39 studies, and five studies described strategies to affect loneliness/social connectedness of older adults or their caregivers in a qualitative descriptive study. The studies were often conducted in the United States (38.6%) among community dwelling (54.5%), cognitively intact (31.8%), and female-majority (86.4%) samples. Few focused on non-white participants (4.5%). Strategies described most often were engaging in purposeful activity and maintaining contact with one’s social network. Of nine intervention types identified, the most frequently described were One-to-One Personal Contact and Group Activity. Authors held divergent views of why the same type of intervention might impact social connectedness, but social contact was the most frequently conceptualized influencing factor targeted, both within and across intervention types. Conclusions: Research to test the divergent theories of why interventions work is needed to advance understanding of intervention mechanisms. Innovative conceptualizations of intervention targets are needed, such as purposeful activity, that move beyond the current focus on the objective social network as a way to promote social connectedness for older adults.

A mixed methods case study exploring the impact of membership of a multi-activity, multicentre community group on social wellbeing of older adults

LINDSAY-SMITH Gabrielle, et al
2018

Background: Social wellbeing factors such as loneliness and social support have a major impact on the health of older adults and can contribute to physical and mental wellbeing. However, with increasing age, social contacts and social support typically decrease and levels of loneliness increase. Group social engagement appears to have additional benefits for the health of older adults compared to socialising individually with friends and family, but further research is required to confirm whether group activities can be beneficial for the social wellbeing of older adults. Methods: This one-year longitudinal mixed methods study investigated the effect of joining a community group, offering a range of social and physical activities, on social wellbeing of adults with a mean age of 70. The study combined a quantitative survey assessing loneliness and social support (n = 28; three time-points, analysed using linear mixed models) and a qualitative focus group study (n = 11, analysed using thematic analysis) of members from Life Activities Clubs Victoria, Australia. Results: There was a significant reduction in loneliness (p = 0.023) and a trend toward an increase in social support (p = 0.056) in the first year after joining. The focus group confirmed these observations and suggested that social support may take longer than 1 year to develop. Focus groups also identified that group membership provided important opportunities for developing new and diverse social connections through shared interest and experience. These connections were key in improving the social wellbeing of members, especially in their sense of feeling supported or connected and less lonely. Participants agreed that increasing connections was especially beneficial following significant life events such as retirement, moving to a new house or partners becoming unwell. Conclusions: Becoming a member of a community group offering social and physical activities may improve social wellbeing in older adults, especially following significant life events such as retirement or moving-house, where social network changes. These results indicate that ageing policy and strategies would benefit from encouraging long-term participation in social groups to assist in adapting to changes that occur in later life and optimise healthy ageing.

The personal and community impact of a Scottish Men's Shed

FOSTER Emma J., MUNOZ Sarah‐Anne, LESLIE Stephen J.
2018

Social isolation and loneliness are known to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, reducing social isolation and loneliness may improve such outcomes. In relation to men's health, “Men's Sheds” have been shown as one mechanism to achieve this. Studies in Australia and England have shown social, health and personal benefits; however, this remains an area that has not yet been researched in Scotland. This study, therefore, aimed to assess the characteristics of attendees, self‐reported motivations for and the values and benefits of attending the Shed from the views of the attendees themselves. The participants of the study were the members of a Men's Shed in the North of Scotland, which was initially set‐up by a small number of core Shedders. A convenience sample was recruited by opportunistic interviewing of participants when they attended the Shed using a mixed methods approach from 1 to 15 November 2016. In the absence of a validated questionnaire, a bespoke questionnaire was developed in several iterative stages. The answers to the questionnaire were transferred to an electronic database and analysed by frequency and thematic analysis. The participants (n = 31) had a mean age (SD) of 69.7 ± 9.5 with 96.8% being retired, thus the majority of the Shed users were older and retired. The results suggest that there were several benefits from attending the Shed, with an overwhelming majority of the sample reporting personal, social and health benefits—however, more research is needed to determine the magnitude of these. This study has also shown that the men attending the Shed frequently discussed health, which could potentially have a beneficial effect. The Shed therefore, as a community project, has the potential to have a positive impact on health welfare by focusing on the social aspects of life.

Connect for a kinder tomorrow: new approaches to loneliness

KENNEDY Seema, REEVES Rachel
2017

This report, from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, argues that loneliness is everybody’s business and calls for every individual to make better connections in order to tackle the problem. It provides suggestions for individuals, voluntary and community groups, employers, local and central government on what they can do to tackle loneliness on a day to day basis. It also makes reference to examples of good practice throughout. In order to build a less lonely nation, it recommends people to adopt a ‘five a day’ rule and have a minimum of five conversations each day and take a ‘Connect 4’ approach, where individuals have four meaningful relationships they can count on.

The shed effect: stories from shedders in Scotland

AGE SCOTLAND
2017

This report outlines the positive impact that the growing men’s shed movement is having on later life, and how it is improving men’s health and wellbeing. It gathered individual stories, experiences and observations from 8 men’s sheds, recording 30 individual conversations with shedders, to find out why sheds work for them. It also held 2 conversations with shed supporters. Using direct quotations from the conversations, the report looks at the following themes: how people got involved in their shed; what makes the shed work for them; the importance of sheds as a place to develop new skills and knowledge; the social, health and welfare benefits – including the development of friendships and reduction in loneliness and social isolation; and the positive impact on communities, such as helping other community groups and promoting connections between the generations. The personal stories may be helpful in promoting the benefits of sheds other men and other communities, raising awareness of the shed movement amongst the general public, and providing funders and policy makers with a better understanding of the importance of men’s sheds’ importance, and of why they should continue to value and support them.

Relationships in the 21st century: the forgotten foundation of mental health and wellbeing

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
2016

Examines how investing in building and maintaining good relationships and tackling the barriers to forming them positively impact on mental health and wellbeing. The evidence shows that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected. The paper looks at relationships across the life course and why they matter, focusing on children and young people, adults and later life. Higher rates of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety have been associated with loneliness, isolation and social rejection during adolescence and similarly having few close relationships has been linked to higher rates of depression and stress in older adults. The report calls on national governments, public bodies and employers to promote good relationships and tackle barriers, including mounting pressures on work–life balance and the impact of bullying and unhealthy relationships.

Shared-life communities for people with a learning disability: a review of evidence

CUMELLA Stuart
2015

A review of the evidence from research about shared-life communities for people with a learning disability, summarising the results from the small number of academic studies which have attempted to measure the quality of life of people with a learning disability living in such communities. This study shows how shared-life communities facilitate a high quality of life for their residents with a learning disability and in particular: high levels of meaningful employment - residents are able to work full time in a range of unskilled and skilled work essential to the daily life and economy of the community, while also exercising choice over where they are able to work; opportunities for friendship - a shared-life communities provide a large clustering of potential friends with the opportunity to meet in workplace and informal settings, while ease of communication enables friendships to be sustained; and long-term relationships - living in extended families in a long-term social relationship with co-workers/assistants enables both groups to become familiar with each other’s pattern of communication.

Ageing alone: loneliness and the 'oldest old'

KEMPTON James, TOMLIN Sam
2014

Loneliness occurs at all stages of life but little attention has been paid to its incidence and impact in the oldest old (85+), the fourth generation. This report begins by exploring: loneliness and why it matters; the incidence of loneliness in older people; and what is known about loneliness in the oldest old (85+). It then looks six contextual criteria that should be considered when initiating or commissioning interventions to tackle loneliness: rural and urban living; gender; health; living alone; community resilience; intergenerational interaction and ageism. Using case study analysis of projects that are tackling loneliness effectively, the report then explores practical steps that can be taken to reduce levels of loneliness among the oldest old. The case studies include one-to-one interventions, group services and building social networks; and encouraging wider community engagement. The case studies also illustrate the continued willingness of individuals of all ages to get involved in their local community. Whereas people might once have volunteered informally to help people they knew, ‘permission’ to initiate contact, through formalised and structured opportunities, is important. This is an important pointer as to how our modern society can organise itself to help address loneliness.

Reducing social isolation and promoting well being in older people

HEMINGWAY Ann, JACK Eleanor
2013

A UK charity established a network of 70 friendship clubs in the south of England, facilitated by volunteers, with the aim of promoting well-being for older people. The charity provides venues and transport for participants to meet and enjoy activities locally every week for 2 hours. This article reports on a 3 year research project exploring the impacts of the intervention, using qualitative research methods and including participant observation and individual and focus group interviews. The study was based on 10 of the friendship clubs and collected information from 82 members and 18 volunteers. The article describes the intervention and the study methodology. It presents the results, with illustrative quotations from participants, covering views on the risk of becoming isolated, feeling isolated, and friendship and support. It identifies additional factors that can predispose an individual to become socially isolated, including environment and safety fears, fear of falling, and loss of confidence, and notes that even when living with their families older people can still feel socially isolated. It reports that club members and volunteers viewed themselves as assets for each other, offering support, advice and friendship, and that, overall, the perceived benefits for attendees of attending the friendship clubs fell into 3 key areas: improved well-being, social relations, and mental and physical health.

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