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Results for 'social networks'

Results 1 - 10 of 38

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.

Men’s sheds: the perceived health and wellbeing benefits

CRABTREE Lois, TINKER Anthea, GLASER Karen
2018

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore older men’s perceptions of the health and wellbeing benefits of participating in men’s sheds. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with eight men aged 65 and over from men’s sheds in London. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed by hand, and analysis was conducted through coding of the transcripts. Findings: The results of this study suggested that men’s sheds improved older men’s perceived level of social interaction, men’s outlook, led to self-reported improvements in depression, and all perceived themselves to be fitter since joining. Despite the research being conducted in an urban area, it highlighted the lack of prior community engagement. Research limitations/implications: The sample size used in the research was small and may not be representative of other men’s sheds in different areas, therefore further research with a larger sample should be conducted. Practical implications: A health policy dedicated to males which includes the promotion and funding of men’s sheds, such as in Ireland, should be considered by the government. In addition, clinical commissioning groups should recognise men’s sheds as a non-clinical alternative for their patients through social prescribing in general practice. Finally, in order to achieve the World Health Organisation initiative of creating “age friendly cities” community groups such as men’s sheds need to be promoted and further utilised. Originality/value: There has been little research in the UK.

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.

Rethinking respite for people affected by dementia

OLDER PEOPLE'S COMMISSIONER FOR WALES
2018

This report provides evidence of how respite care for people affected by dementia can be positively transformed and aims to help policy makers, commissioners and providers to deliver change. It brings together the results of an engagement exercise with over 120 people affected by dementia, undertaken in partnership with My Home Life Cymru (Swansea University); a literature review by the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies; and a call for examples of practice. The report identifies key challenges facing people who need to accessing respite when they need it, covering the following themes: navigating the health and care system; availability; quality, flexibility and choice; information, advice and advocacy; meaningful occupation; home or away?; complex needs and keeping people active; safeguarding and positive risk taking; diversity; maintaining and building relationships; social inclusion and having an ‘ordinary’ life. Drawing on people’s experiences and examples from practice, it provides enablers to help overcome these barriers. The report shows that not all ‘routes to respite’ are clear to the public, there is uneven access across the country, many people feel that current options are not delivering the quality, flexibility or accessibility they need; and there were concerns that money is being spent on respite services that do not deliver meaningful outcomes. It concludes that there is a need to rethink the language and terminology around respite; make better use of the knowledge and experiences of people living with dementia and carers to develop new models of care and support; and to align the outcomes with the National Outcomes Framework. Whilst the report focuses specifically on people affected by dementia, many of the key messages will be relevant to other people who need respite.

The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence

BROOKS Helen Louise, et al
2018

Background: There is increasing recognition of the therapeutic function pets can play in relation to mental health. However, there has been no systematic review of the evidence related to the comprehensive role of companion animals and how pets might contribute to the work associated with managing a long-term mental health condition. The aim of this study was to explore the extent, nature and quality of the evidence implicating the role and utility of pet ownership for people living with a mental health condition. Methods: A systematic search for studies exploring the role of companion animals in the management of mental health conditions was undertaken by searching 9 databases and undertaking a scoping review of grey literature from the earliest record until March 2017. To be eligible for inclusion, studies had to be published in English and report on primary data related to the relationship between domestic animal ownership and the management of diagnosable mental health conditions. Synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data was undertaken in parallel using a narrative synthesis informed by an illness work theoretical framework. Results: A total of 17 studies were included in the review. Quantitative evidence relating to the benefits of pet ownership was mixed with included studies demonstrating positive, negative and neutral impacts of pet ownership. Qualitative studies illuminated the intensiveness of connectivity people with companion animals reported, and the multi-faceted ways in which pets contributed to the work associated with managing a mental health condition, particularly in times of crisis. The negative aspects of pet ownership were also highlighted, including the practical and emotional burden of pet ownership and the psychological impact that losing a pet has. Conclusion: This review suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions. Further research is required to test the nature and extent of this relationship, incorporating outcomes that cover the range of roles and types of support pets confer in relation to mental health and the means by which these can be incorporated into the mainstay of support for people experiencing a mental health problem.

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.

Health matters: community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND
2018

This resource focuses on the concept and practice of community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing and outlines how to create the conditions for community assets to thrive. It looks at the benefits of working with communities, in terms of improved outcomes and potential savings. It also outlines the range of community-centred approaches that can be used to improve community health and wellbeing. These include initiatives to strengthen communities; volunteering and peer support; collaborations and partnerships; and access to community resources. It highlights evidence, key policy documents and includes links to resources and case studies.

Mixing matters: how shared sites can bring older and younger people together and unite Brexit Britain

UNITED FOR ALL AGES
2018

Sets out why increasing connections between generations is key to the health, wellbeing and future of individuals, communities and the country. While Britain has become more age segregated in recent decades, this paper demonstrates there is a growing movement to tackle ‘age apartheid’. The paper focuses on how older and younger people can come together through ‘shared sites’ with many inspiring and practical examples that could be replicated across the UK. Four specific themes are explored: shared care and play; shared housing and living; shared learning and work; and shared community spaces and activities. The paper sets out an ambition to develop 500 shared sites by 2022, arguing that with some 75,000 care homes, nurseries and schools in the UK, there is massive scope for the shared sites challenge to achieve much more.

Community development in health: a literature review


2016

This literature review offers a brief background to the current state of play in the NHS and statutory services, and ideas that services more flexible, place-based services are likely to offer more effective and efficient outcomes. It then provides an overview of the nature of community development, its relationship to community health and to enhancing the responsiveness of commissioning of services. It brings together evidence which shows how communities can be supported to develop their own strengths and their own trajectories of development. It also examines the health benefits of community engagement, and identifies the limitations of some studies and where evidence that suggests poor outcomes or risks. It looks developing a business case, and what is already known of costs and benefits of community development. It finds that although it is difficult to express costs and benefits of community development in monetary terms, some effective techniques do exist. The evidence shows that community development helps to strengthen and increase social networks and therefore build up social capital. Evidence shows that they to contribute significantly to individual and to community health and resilience. Existing data also suggests that community development in health is cost-effective and provides good value for money. The review includes definitions of community development and key related concepts, including as asset-based approaches, co-production, social networks, social capital, and community capital.

Results 1 - 10 of 38

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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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