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Results for 'social isolation'

Results 11 - 20 of 53

The benefits of making a contribution to your community in later life

JONES Dan, YOUNG Aideen, REEDER Neil
2016

Reviews existing evidence on the benefits for older people of volunteering and making unpaid contributions to their communities in later life. The report covers ‘community contributions’ to refer to this whole spectrum of unpaid activity, including individual acts of neighbourliness, peer support, formal volunteering and involvement in civic participation. The report looks the state of the current evidence base; the main areas of benefit for volunteering in later life, who currently benefits from volunteering and in what circumstances. The review identifies good evidence that older people making community contributions can lead to benefits in: the quantity and quality of their social connections; an enhanced sense of purpose and self-esteem; and improved life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing. The evidence was less clear on the impact on health, employment and social isolation. The review also found that people aged 50 with fewer social connections, lower levels of income and education, and poorer health may have the most to gain from helping others. However, the people most likely to volunteer are those who are already relatively wealthy, in good physical and mental health, and with high levels of wellbeing and social connections. The report makes recommendations for organisations, funders and commissioners working with older volunteers. These included: maximise the benefits of volunteering by focusing on engaging older people who are relatively less well connected, less wealthy and less healthy; avoid an over reliance on volunteering alone to tackle serious issues related to physical health, frailty, social isolation or employability; and ensure that older people engaged in volunteering have meaningful roles, with opportunities for social interaction.

Trapped in a bubble: an investigation into triggers for loneliness in the UK

CO-OPERATIVES UK, BRITISH RED CROSS
2016

This research investigates potential triggers for loneliness across life stages, focusing on the causes, experiences and impacts of loneliness for six selected groups. It also looks at the support available for people experiencing loneliness, the services people would like, and how they would like that support to be delivered. The research focuses on: young new mums; individuals with mobility limitations; individuals with health issues; individuals who are recently divorced or separated; individuals living without children at home ('empty-nesters') and retirees; and the recently bereaved. It also draws on the views of experts and public opinion on loneliness gathered through a survey. The research found that the causes of loneliness of often complex, stemming from a combination of personal, community, and UK-wide factors. It also confirmed that people experiencing life events which can disrupt existing connections or change their role in society are at risk of loneliness. Other factors contributing to loneliness included: difficulty in accessing statutory services and support, the rapid disappearance of social spaces, and inadequate transport infrastructure. Loneliness can have physical, psychological and social impacts which can negatively impact on communities and people’s ability to connect. Experts recommend a combination of the following three models of support to tackle loneliness, depending on individual circumstances: preventative; responsive, which is shaped by the needs of those already experiencing loneliness and restorative, helping people to rebuild connections and prevent people slipping into chronic loneliness. Participants experiencing loneliness had a preference for face-to-face services, with digital services seen as important but supplementary. All those involved in the research supported the need for small, personal steps to help build community connectedness.

Testing promising approaches to reducing loneliness: results and learnings of Age UK's loneliness Pilot

AGE UK
2016

This report shares the results of Age UK’s loneliness pilot programme, which aimed to find out Age UK services could better reach older people experiencing loneliness, develop individually tailored solutions and help older people access activities and services within their community. Chapter one outlines origins of the programme, which involved eight local Age UKs in a 12 month pilot. Local services developed three common approaches: recruiting ‘eyes on the ground’ to identify older people experiencing, or at risk of, loneliness; developing co-operative networks with other agencies; and use of traditional befriending services. Chapter two highlights examples of services that local Age UKs are delivering and how the adoption of certain approaches improved their impact on lonely older people. Chapter three look at some of the impacts of the programme. It found that a large number of the older people supported during the programme experienced a reduction in their loneliness scores. This was especially true amongst older people who were often lonely. Some older people also identified feelings of increased independence, wellbeing and connectedness with people. Chapter four outlines the next steps for the Age UK programme.

The missing million: a practical guide to identifying and talking about loneliness

CAMPAIGN TO END LONELINESS
2016

A practical guide providing advice to help commissioners, service providers, frontline staff and volunteers to better identify and engage with older people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing loneliness. The guide draws on evidence from an earlier Campaign to End Loneliness Report 'The missing million: in search of the loneliest in our communities'. The first section outlines a range of data sources to help identify loneliness, including heat maps, the Exeter data system of patients registered with GPs, and a Community Insight tool developed by the Housing Associations Charitable Trust. It also explores how working with local communities and developing partnerships with individuals, groups and other agencies can help to help identify loneliness. Examples show how existing social networks in communities also have an important role to play in providing support and reducing loneliness. The second section provides recommendations on how best to engage with older people, highlighting the importance of understanding what loneliness is, having the right skills to talk to older people about loneliness, and providing appropriate support for the individual. Examples of effective and innovative approaches to supporting older people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, loneliness, are also included. These include social prescribing, Talk for Health, and using social media and technology.

Harnessing social action to support older people: evaluating the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund

GEORGHIOU Theo, et al
2016

Presents the findings of an evaluation of seven social action projects funded by the Cabinet Office, NHS England, Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. The aim of the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund was to scale up and test projects that used volunteers to support older people to stay well, manage health conditions or recover after illness, and thereby reduce pressure on hospitals. The organisations supported by the fund comprised a range of national and local charities. These projects fell into three broad categories: community-based support, supporting discharge from hospital wards, and supporting individuals in A&E department to avoid admissions. Between them, the projects offered a wide range of services to older people – both direct (for example help with shopping or providing transport) and indirect (linking with other services). The evaluation resulted in a mixed set of findings. From the interviews with staff, volunteers and local stakeholders, there was evidence of services that had made an impact by providing practical help, reassurance and connection with other services that could reduce isolation and enable independence. Those involved with the projects felt that volunteers and project staff could offer more time to users than pressurised statutory sector staff, which enabled a fuller understanding of a person’s needs while also freeing up staff time. However, the analysis of hospital activity data in the months that followed people's referral into the projects did not suggest that these schemes impacted on the use of NHS services in the way that was assumed, with no evidence of a reduction in emergency hospital admissions, or in costs of hospital care following referral to the social action projects. The one exception was the project based in an A&E department, which revealed a smaller number of admissions in the short term. The report questions whether these sorts of interventions can ever be fully captured solely using hospital-based data and conceptualising reduced or shortened admissions as a key marker of success.

Local authorities + older people + arts = a creative combination

CUTLER David
2013

This report presents the case for local authority involvement in arts projects for older people. It sets out the benefits of participation in the arts for older people, it also argues that arts projects have additional benefits which can help local authorities deliver their own objectives at a time of increasing financial cuts. The report highlights five roles and interests of local authorities that makes them uniquely well suited to promote arts in the lives of older people. These are: improving the health and well being of older people, including reducing loneliness; arts and cultural services; integrating arts into older people's services and social care; social inclusion and community development; and leadership and coordination. Six case studies are included to illustrate the work that can be led or supported by local authorities. These include using arts to promoting mental and physical well being in St Helens; tackling loneliness in Fife; the provision of arts and social care services in Epping Forest; and leadership and coordination in Manchester. It also highlights relevant organisations and resources.

North and South London Cares. Evaluation and development through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund

RENAISI
2016

This report presents the findings from research and impact measurement of key projects undertaken by the North London Cares and South London Cares, demonstrating how the charities meet their core objectives of reducing isolation and loneliness amongst older people (and young professionals alike); improving the wellbeing, skills, resilience and connection of all participants; and bridging social and generational divides. The main projects comprise: Love Your Neighbour, supporting one-to-one friendships across social and generational divides; Social Clubs, aimed at older people who can still get out of the house, and want to interact with other older neighbours as well as local young people; Winter Wellbeing, a pro-active outreach effort that helps older neighbours to stay warm, active, healthy and connected during the most isolating time of year; and Community Fundraising, involving volunteers in major community fundraising effort through a ‘networked approach’. Drawing from the responses to a survey of new members (and follow up surveys), the report shows that there were little change for the scores for wellbeing for those who answered all surveys, except for an increase in anxiety. When looking at all responses, regardless of whether they stayed in contact for 12 months, the happiness score appears to be increasing, suggesting that some of those who were least happy dropped out of the survey. In the loneliness questions there was a decrease in the computed social loneliness score (questions about other people), but an increase in the emotional loneliness (questions about their sense of loneliness). The report also develops a new theory of change for the organisation, and sets out how to go about measuring impact against theory. The theory is based on five outcomes, which apply equally to both volunteers and older neighbours, and include: reducing isolation, improving wellbeing, increasing the feeling of belonging in the local community, living richer lives, and building bridges across social and generational divides.

Wigan community link worker service evaluation

INNOVATION UNIT
2016

Evaluation of the Wigan Community Link Worker (CLW) service, which was set up as a pilot in 2015 to improve the health and wellbeing of local people by helping them to access community based support and activities. It also helps those referred to use their skills and experience through volunteering. The evaluation, commissioned by Wigan Borough CCG and Wigan Council, aims to gain a better understanding of how the service is working, who is using it and what difference it is making to clients and referring services. The evaluation draws on an analysis of referral data, case studies and qualitative interviews with commissioners, people running services, patients, community link workers and representatives of voluntary and community organisations. Findings report high levels of commitment to the service from stakeholders, with health and care professionals valuing the service and promoting it to colleagues and clients. A total of 784 clients were supported between January 2015 and March 2016. Over half of these clients were over 55, with social isolation and mental health issues the most recurrent presenting issues, along with benefits and financial advice. The service is also used by number of carers. Client stories suggest that CLWs help them to feel supported and able to contribute in their community. The evaluation also found anecdotal evidence of reduced pressure on mainstream services. Recommendations include that the service retains it wide referral and low threshold for access; development of the skills of CLWs as relational workers through peer support and reflective practice; and enlists CLWs, clients and health professionals in co-designing and co-producing the service in the future.

Evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness grant fund: evaluation final report

ROBERTS Lauren
2016

Final evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant programme, designed to encourage the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to develop innovative approaches to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50 plus. The programme was commissioned and funded by North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and administered and managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc). It awarded nine large (£10,000-£50,000) and eighteen small grants (less than £10,000) to local VCS organisations across Manchester's three Clinical Commissioning Group areas. This report provides an overview of the programme and discusses evidence of impact in the following areas: reducing social isolation and loneliness; improving confidence and independence; and improving health, wellbeing and quality of life. It also looks at learning from the project around identifying socially isolated and lonely people and engaging with, and retaining, people's involvement in initiatives. The evaluation reported increased social connections, with almost all respondents (97 per cent) meeting new people through the project; the creation of new friendships; increased quality of life; and improvements in self-reported health. It demonstrates that VCS-led model are capable of delivering desired outcomes and also highlights the importance of effective partnership arrangements between VCS umbrella organisations and CCG funders. Individual case studies showcasing learning and impact evidence from the individual projects are included in the appendices.

Access to outdoor recreation by older people in Scotland

COLLEY Kathryn, et al
2016

Scottish research study to examine the barriers preventing older people, including older people with long-term health conditions and disabilities, from accessing outdoor recreation opportunities. The research involved two stages: an investigation of the spatial distribution of older people using small-scale geographical units and semi-structured interviews with 27 older people across three case study sites of varying levels of urbanity and access to different types of green/blue natural resources. Results from the spatial distribution analysis found that remote areas and isolated small towns had higher concentrations of older people and older people with health problems or disabilities. It also identifies that the negative impacts on the well-being and resilience of local communities are also likely to be stronger in remote areas, with challenges in accessing medical and care facilities. The case study work found the barriers to participation in outdoor recreation by older people are multiple and inter-related. Key categories of barriers identified in the interviews were: poor health and (im)mobility; lack of or reduced social connections; fragility and vulnerability; lack of motivation and time commitments; safety; and weather and season. Key implications for policy and practice identified from the research include: for interventions to address the multiple and interrelated barriers preventing older people from participating in outdoor recreation, using integrated and holistic approaches involving different organisations; for ‘green prescribing’ by doctors and medical professionals to be integrated with existing initiatives (eg walking groups) which offer opportunities for overcoming social and motivational barriers; and for interventions to identify ways of providing transport access to outdoor spaces to older people.

Results 11 - 20 of 53

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