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Results for 'social networks'

Results 31 - 40 of 71

What do we know about the relationship between internet-mediated interaction and social isolation and loneliness in later life?

BENEITO-MONTAGUT Roser, CASSIAN-YDE Nizaia, BEGUERIA Arantza
2018

Purpose: Social isolation and loneliness are recognised social, health and wellbeing problems that particularly affect later life. They have been the subject of many recent studies. Studies examining the role of the internet in addressing these problems have multiplied. However, it is still not known whether internet-mediated social interaction has any role in mitigating social isolation and or loneliness. To address this gap, the purpose of this paper is to review previous research that investigates the relationship between internet use for communication and social isolation and loneliness. Design/methodology/approach: This paper reviews the empirical literature published since 2000 and expands on previous literature reviews by including a variety of research designs and disciplines. Findings: Despite the recent increase in studies, there is still little evidence to show internet effects on social isolation and loneliness. It is concluded that future research programmes aimed at reducing them by the use of the internet should include more robust methodological and theoretical frameworks, employ longitudinal research designs and provide a more nuanced description of both the social phenomena (social isolation and loneliness) and internet-mediated social interaction. Originality/value: Previous reviews are not restricted to internet-based studies and include several types of interventions aiming at reducing social isolation and/or loneliness. They do not attempt to disentangle the internet effects of social isolation and loneliness.

Health 2020 priority area four: creating supportive environments and resilient communities: a compendium of inspirational examples


2018

Brings together innovative examples of actions taken in 13 countries to strengthen resilience and build supportive environments for population health and well-being. The examples show how building resilience can be achieved by developing and sustaining partnerships between institutions and communities; by community action and bottom-up efforts; at system level, both nationally and locally. The examples, primarily gathered from community initiatives, are linked to the four types of resilience capacities: adaptive, absorptive, anticipatory and transformative. Topics covered include the role of resilience building in addressing human rights, health inequities, environmental hazards, and health-related topics such as communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Examples from the UK include: Promoting social connections and community networks for older people through Better in Sheffield; Supporting local systems to tackle the social determinants of health inequalities; Strengthening resilience through the early intervention and prevention: breaking the generational cycle of crime project; and A social movement for health and resilience in Blackburn with Darwen. Each example attempts to describe: the action undertaken; the resilience-related issue that the action aimed to address; and the impact and lessons learnt in the process of strengthening resilience.

Older Carers Project (Every One)

Lincolnshire County Council

In acknowledgement of the particular difficulties facing older carers, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) secured funding from the Better Care Fund to look at how it supports older carers who are looking after someone with a learning disability in their home. During early 2015 LCC commissioned what was then, Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership (LCYCP) now known as ‘Every-One’ to undertake the Older Carers Project. The project provided support for carers over the age of 55 who had grown up children with learning disabilities to produce contingency and future care plans. The aim of this was to ensure that when the carers could no longer continue in their caring role, sufficient plans were in place to avoid a crisis where their son or daughter may be forced into residential care causing unnecessary stress and expense.

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.

Results 31 - 40 of 71

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
View more: News
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