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Results for 'social isolation'

Results 1 - 10 of 72

LAUGH: playful objects in advanced dementia care

TREADAWAY Cathy
2018

The article reports on an international research project led by the Cardiff School of Art and Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia. The aim of the project was to understand the best ways to design objects that can give pleasure and comfort to people in the advanced stages of dementia and to provide guidance for designers working in the sector. The article discusses the participatory approach to the research, testing and feedback and provides an example of one of the LAUGH objects that was found to have a significant impact on wellbeing - a comforting "Hug". The article also covers how the objects stimulate memories and some of the outcomes from the project and future direction.

Improving social support for older adults through technology: findings from the prism randomized controlled trial

CZAJA Sara J., et al
2018

Objectives: Information and communication technology holds promise in terms of providing support and reducing isolation among older adults. The impact of a specially designed computer system for older adults, the Personal Reminder Information and Social Management (PRISM) system is evaluated in this study. Design, Setting, and Participants: The trial was a multisite randomized field trial conducted at 3 sites. PRISM was compared to a Binder condition wherein participants received a notebook that contained paper content similar to that contained in PRISM. The sample included 300 older adults at risk for social isolation who lived independently in the community (Mage = 76.15 years). Primary outcome measures included indices of social isolation, social support, loneliness, and well-being. Secondary outcome measures included indices of computer proficiency and attitudes toward technology. Data were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months post-randomization. Results: The PRISM group reported significantly less loneliness and increased perceived social support and well-being at 6 months. There was a trend indicating a decline in social isolation. Group differences were not maintained at 12 months, but those in the PRISM condition still showed improvements from baseline. There was also an increase in computer self-efficacy, proficiency, and comfort with computers for PRISM participants at 6 and 12 months. Discussion: The findings suggest that access to technology applications such as PRISM may enhance social connectivity and reduce loneliness among older adults and has the potential to change attitudes toward technology and increase technology self-efficacy.

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.

My Guide

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

My Guide is a sighted guiding service, started by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (Guide Dogs) in 2014, in which trained volunteers assist blind and partially sighted adults by helping them get out of their homes: to the shops, community events, and other activities. This was mainly out of a recognition that not everyone had the confidence or ability to undertake more formal mobility training such as with a guide dog, but nonetheless, people with sight loss who had lost confidence and become isolated still by and large want to get out and about and participate in life. My Guide was therefore envisaged either as an alternative or even a stepping stone to other forms of mobility. Ultimately it is geared towards promoting and enhancing independence and wellbeing and supports people with sight loss in achieving outcome 7 (I can get out and about) of the Seeing It My Way, the national outcomes framework for people with sight loss.

Social isolation and older black, Asian and minority ethnic people in Greater Manchester

LEWIS Camilla, COTTERELL Natalie
2018

This report summarises the existing literature on social isolation among older black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK, including the risk and protective factors of social isolation. It argues that individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to experience health, social, and economic inequalities, thereby increasing the risk of social isolation. BAME individuals are more likely to experience discrimination and racism over the course of their lives, which can also increase the risk of social isolation by limiting opportunities for social and economic participation. It also highlights the role cultural and community organisations can play in facilitating access to services and raising awareness about ways of preventing social isolation. It discusses the findings in relation to Greater Manchester's Ambition for Ageing programme and suggests how older BAME communities could be engaged across Greater Manchester, using co-research methodologies. It concludes that future research must acknowledge variations across and within BAME groups, as well as exploring other factors, including existing gender and class differences.

Interventions to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older people: an integrative review

GARDINER Clare, GELDENHUYS Gideon, GOTT Merryn
2018

Loneliness and social isolation are major problems for older adults. Interventions and activities aimed at reducing social isolation and loneliness are widely advocated as a solution to this growing problem. The aim of this study was to conduct an integrative review to identify the range and scope of interventions that target social isolation and loneliness among older people, to gain insight into why interventions are successful and to determine the effectiveness of those interventions. Six electronic databases were searched from 2003 until January 2016 for literature relating to interventions with a primary or secondary outcome of reducing or preventing social isolation and/or loneliness among older people. Data evaluation followed Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co‐ordinating Centre guidelines and data analysis was conducted using a descriptive thematic method for synthesising data. The review identified 38 studies. A range of interventions were described which relied on differing mechanisms for reducing social isolation and loneliness. The majority of interventions reported some success in reducing social isolation and loneliness, but the quality of evidence was generally weak. Factors which were associated with the most effective interventions included adaptability, a community development approach, and productive engagement. A wide range of interventions have been developed to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older people. However, the quality of the evidence base is weak and further research is required to provide more robust data on the effectiveness of interventions. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to further develop theoretical understandings of how successful interventions mediate social isolation and loneliness.

A review of the basic principles of sustainable community-based volunteering approaches to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people

PARKINSON Andy, GRIFFITHS Endaf, TRIER Eva
2018

This study examines the social, economic and environmental conditions that enable community-based volunteering projects to reduce loneliness and isolation in older people to become successful. It also identifies barriers to volunteering approaches, and how they can be tackled. The study involved a literature review, consultation with stakeholders, and an analysis of eight case studies in Wales. Drawing on the findings, it also sets out a Theory of Change to show how programmes have the potential to reduce loneliness and social isolation and provides a framework for the future self-evaluation of programmes. The study found that schemes employ a range of approaches in order to engage and support their clients, including in-home visits, telephone befriending, and group activities. This can be influenced by funding or its ability to support the project’s aims and outcomes. Other key findings highlight the need for schemes to be able to accurately assess the social and emotional status of older people so as to deliver appropriate interventions; for schemes to target effectively to reach those most at risk. It also found that schemes adopting a participatory approach which places local people at the heart and schemes which focused on smaller geographical areas tended to be more effective. The report makes eight recommendations, which include the development of a standard method or tools for monitoring and evaluating volunteer-led schemes.

The association between physical activity and social isolation in community-dwelling older adults

ROBINS Lauren M., et al
2018

Objectives: Social isolation is an increasing concern in older community-dwelling adults. There is growing need to determine effective interventions addressing social isolation. This study aimed to determine whether a relationship exists between physical activity (recreational and/or household-based) and social isolation. An examination was conducted for whether group- or home-based falls prevention exercise was associated with social isolation. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of telephone survey data was used to investigate relationships between physical activity, health, age, gender, living arrangements, ethnicity and participation in group- or home-based falls prevention exercise on social isolation. Univariable and multivariable ordered logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: Factors found to be significantly associated with reduced social isolation in multivariable analysis included living with a partner/spouse, reporting better general health, higher levels of household-based physical activity (OR = 1.03, CI = 1.01–1.05) and feeling less downhearted/depressed. Being more socially isolated was associated with symptoms of depression and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure (pseudo R2 = 0.104). Discussion: Findings suggest that household-based physical activity is related to social isolation in community-dwelling older adults. Further research is required to determine the nature of this relationship and to investigate the impact of group physical activity interventions on social isolation.

What do older people experiencing loneliness think about primary care or community based interventions to reduce loneliness? A qualitative study in England

KHARICHA Kalpa, et al
2017

Twenty-eight community dwelling people, aged 65 and over who reported being ‘lonely much of the time’ or identified as lonely from the de Jong Gierveld six-item loneliness scale in a larger study, participated in in-depth interviews, between June 2013 and May 2014. Views and experiences on seeking support from primary care and community based one-to-one and group based activities, including social and shared interest groups, were explored. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was conducted by a multidisciplinary team, including older people. Using two different measures of loneliness enabled a spectrum of loneliness experience to be explored. Two-thirds of the participants were the ‘younger old’ and all were able to leave their homes independently. Older people with characteristics of loneliness were generally knowledgeable about local social and community resources but, for the majority, community and primary care based services for their loneliness were not considered desirable or helpful at this point in their lives. However, group based activities with a shared interest were thought preferable to one-to-one support (befriending) or groups with a social focus. Descriptions of support as being for loneliness and specific to older people discouraged engagement. Older people experiencing or at risk of loneliness did not consider that primary care has a role in alleviating loneliness because it is not an illness. They thought primary care practitioners lack understanding of non-physical problems and that a good relationship was necessary to discuss sensitive issues like loneliness. For many, loneliness was a complex and private matter that they wished to manage without external support.

Evaluation of Hale Community Connectors Social Prescribing Service 2017

DAYSON Chris, LEATHER David
2018

Reports on initial findings of an independent evaluation of the Community Connectors Social Prescribing Service in Bradford, covering the first nine months of the service (March-November 2017). It aims to answer some key questions about the Community Connectors Social Prescribing Service to support future commissioning by the CCG and its partners. The service was commissioned to improve the health, well-being and social connectedness of local people and reduce unplanned and unnecessary demand on primary and secondary health services. The service involves a referral from a GP of patients who could benefit from additional socially focussed support, followed by a home visit from a Community Connector to help identify what services and activities are available. The evaluation shows that a total of 703 local people were referred to the service for support by their GP. The majority of referrals were to address social issues such as anxiety and social isolation, however, a significant proportion of service users were also in poor health with long term conditions. It also identifies positive outcomes in relation to health, mental well-being, trust of people in their community, social connectedness and service users’ ability to self-care. Although too early to assess the impact on demand for primary and secondary care, service users recording up to nine per cent fewer Accident and Emergency and up to seven per cent fewer GP attendances after referral to the service.

Results 1 - 10 of 72

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News

My Guide: new case example

My Guide: new case example My Guide is a sighted guiding service, started by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (Guide Dogs), in which trained volunteers assist blind and partially sighted adults to get out and about, thus helping to prevent social isolation.
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