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Results for 'loneliness'

Results 1 - 10 of 78

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.

Evaluation of Time to Shine: year 2 interim findings

WIGFIELD Andrea, ALDEN Sarah
2017

Interim evaluation of Time to Shine, the Big Lottery funded Ageing Better programme running in Leeds, which is funding projects for specific groups most likely to experience isolation and loneliness. These include older men; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender older people (LGBT), Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) older people; and older people with learning disabilities. Based on analysis of the monitoring and evaluation data, the report provides an overview of what has been learnt about what works in reducing social isolation and loneliness and how the programme is leading to change at the individual, local, and citywide level drawing. It also reports on the commissioning process and looks at how co-production has been incorporated into design, and delivery and evaluation of the programme. It reports that as of 30 June 2017, over 5,600 people of all ages have been involved in Time to Shine projects in some way, including: over 2,600 older people participating regularly in Time to Shine projects and 335 older volunteers and 140 volunteers aged 49 or under helping to plan, deliver or steer projects. The results suggest that being involved in Time to Shine helped some people to feel they were more involved in their local area, improved life satisfaction scores.

Community connector schemes: Ageing Better programme learning

Ageing Better
2018

Reports on emerging evidence and learning from eight Ageing Better programme areas who are using Community Connector type roles. Community Connectors were defined as any mechanism that identifies isolated people over 50 and works with them to help them transition to less isolated through person-centred structured support. This includes community navigators, social prescribing and approaches that involve people overcoming specific barriers, for example mental health. The report provides some insights to policy makers, commissioners and practitioners to help them when shaping this type of service. This includes making the service work at each stage: entry points and first engagement, relationships building and activities, and moving on.

All the lonely people: loneliness in later life

AGE UK
2018

This report presents evidence about what Age UK know about loneliness amongst people aged 50 and over, what increases the chances of people experiencing loneliness and how best to help those older people who are persistently lonely. It focuses on the need for approaches to reducing loneliness to be tailored to the circumstances of the individual. The analysis shows that the risk of being often lonely is higher among those people who are widowed or who do not have someone to open up to. It also found that the risk of loneliness does vary because of age, although the risk factors may be different. Whilst social activities are an essential component of successful approaches to tackling loneliness, for many people activities are only effective when complemented by emotional and practical support to access them. This requires personalised support and neighbourhoods which encourage and facilitate people to participate in their communities. It concludes that the importance of good quality care, transport and other public amenities to achieve this means a genuinely cross-government approach is essential.

Residents as volunteers: final evaluation report

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS, HORNUNG Lisa
2018

An evaluation of the Residents as Volunteers project, which aimed to support older people aged over-75 years living in a residential home setting to volunteer and to measure the impact of volunteering on well-being and quality of life. The project was delivered in partnership by Abbeyfield Society and NCVO, and funded by the Big Lottery fund. A total of 110 residents volunteered during the project. Those participating felt that volunteering had a positive impact on their emotional and social well-being and many also reported that volunteering helped them to stay physically and mentally active. The evaluation identified a number of barriers to volunteering faced by care home residents. These included feeling too old, having a health condition, lack of confidence, narrow views of volunteering or anti-volunteering sentiment. The project also found it was far more difficult to reach residents that had never volunteered before. It also identified barriers for staff and care homes themselves, including existing social interactions, staff to resident ratio, existing volunteering culture and non-supportive environment or lack of management buy-in. The report makes some suggestions to overcome these barriers.

A connected society. A strategy for tackling loneliness: laying the foundations for change

GREAT BRITAIN. Her Majesty's Government
2018

This strategy builds on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness and sets out the government's approach to tackling loneliness in England. The strategy highlights the role that everyone can play in tackling loneliness, including government, communities and the individual. The government's work on loneliness is guided by three overarching goals: building the evidence base, embedding loneliness as a consideration across government policy, and building a national conversation on loneliness, to raise awareness of its impacts and to help tackle stigma. Chapter one provides a summary of the existing evidence base on loneliness, including its impacts and causes. The following three chapters set out government commitments and partnerships in three areas seen as crucial to build a connected society. These are: organisations and services - how government, working with local authorities, health bodies, businesses and the voluntary sector will introduce a range of new initiatives that enable the everyday services we use to connect those at risk of loneliness to support; community infrastructure – such as accessing community space, transport and well designed housing; and building a culture that encourages strong social relationships – including tackling stigma surrounding loneliness and supporting community groups. Chapter five sets out how government will take this agenda forward and sets out a commitment from the Loneliness Action Group to continue its work until at least the end of 2019. The document highlights examples from practice throughout.

A society of readers

HILHORST Sacha, LOCKEY Alan, SPEIGHT Tom
2018

This report, commissioned by The Reading Agency, assesses the potential of reading to tackle the issues of loneliness, mental health problems, dementia and lack of social mobility. It looks at evidence in three short literature reviews and highlights findings from reading initiatives. It also forecasts the scale of the challenge posed by an increase in loneliness, mental health problems and dementia over the next decade without effective intervention. Findings from literature reviews suggest that reading can help to combat the growing issue of loneliness, as well as acting as a tool to protect future generations from the loneliness and can also improve common symptoms of both depression and dementia. It concludes by setting out thirteen practical reading-based policies that suggest how the Government can make the most of readings potential. These include for the Government to invest £200 million in using reading to combat loneliness and for more book-based interventions as part of a social prescribing strategy for mental health and dementia.

Evaluation of Ageing Better in Birmingham year two report

MORETON Rachel, et al
2018

Evaluation of Ageing Better in Birmingham, part of a wider programme of 14 Ageing Better projects located across England taking an asset-based approach to tackle social isolation and loneliness in older people. The evaluation covers activities completed between May 2017 and April 2018. It reports on the range of activities delivered, which included exercise and arts activities; key characteristics of successful activity; how networks are working to make their activities sustainable; and the ways in which activities are attracting male participants. Short case studies of the groups delivered are included throughout. Key findings show that Ageing Better in Birmingham is successfully engaging ethnically and age diverse participants and older adults who are the most-lonely. This has been achieved by mainly working through established voluntary and community groups, which it is noted may not always effective in those areas where the voluntary and community sector is less well developed. The evaluation found Network Leads play an important role in making a successful Network and that Networks involving physical activity appear to be associated with greater wellbeing gains for participants. The report makes recommendations for the future development of the programme.

KOMP

No Isolation

Described most simply as a ‘one button screen’, KOMP is a communication tool designed specifically for, and in collaboration with, older people. The product is designed by No Isolation (www.noisolation.com), an Oslo-based start-up founded to reduce involuntary social isolation and loneliness. Following the success of its first product, a telepresence robot named AV1, designed to help children with long-term illness attend school and stay connected with their friends, the company decided to focus on developing an initial solution for seniors and launched KOMP. To date, more than 400 KOMPs are in use in Norway alone, with seven being trialled in the UK. While many have a large family unit, and enjoy spending time with family and friends, older people are still the single largest group affected by loneliness. According to Age UK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, with 1.9 million reporting feeling ignored and invisible. In 2017, Eurostat reported that 1.1 million seniors are in contact with relatives just once a month or less. Seeing the positive impact that being able to communicate has had on users of AV1, No Isolation knew the power that being connected could have, in terms of reducing feelings of loneliness. They were also acutely aware that the devices that are currently available to allow people to go online and socialise with family and friends are either too complicated or do not meet the needs of most seniors. Modifying existing technology simply wasn't an option, so No Isolation worked with older people, families and designers to work out exactly what KOMP needed to feature to work for its target user. By conducting extensive research into how seniors interacted with technology, No Isolation found that touch screens were not intuitive, and for some, not receptive, to the fingertips of the elderly - which led to KOMP only having one large, graspable button. To avoid confusion, the user can switch the device off and on by twisting the button, as well as change the KOMP’s volume by rotating it.

Results 1 - 10 of 78

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