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The feel‐good factor we feel after exercise is well documented: aside from the endorphins ‐ the ‘happy hormones’ ‐ that our bodies produce, the sense of achievement, being…
The feel‐good factor we feel after exercise is well documented: aside from the endorphins ‐ the ‘happy hormones’ ‐ that our bodies produce, the sense of achievement, being outdoors and doing something different can all lead to a sense of well‐being and contentment. In our next article, contributors Alan Wright and Dr Mima Cattan report on the findings of their study into hospital‐based exercise groups to help patients overcome depression.
Getting around would be difficult without roads, rail and pedestrian walkways. Despite what we take for granted, the older traveller is often left feeling frustrated by…
Getting around would be difficult without roads, rail and pedestrian walkways. Despite what we take for granted, the older traveller is often left feeling frustrated by the current transport infrastructure. Based on their research, Dr Greg Marsden et al explore in this article why this is the case, they look at the barriers that prevent older people getting out and about and the considerations when planning transport for the older traveller.
This article aims to describe an evaluation of a national pilot programme of telephone support services for older people in England and Scotland and is focussed on…
This article aims to describe an evaluation of a national pilot programme of telephone support services for older people in England and Scotland and is focussed on organisational outcomes.
The “Call in Time Programme” was funded by the national charity Help the Aged and comprised eight telephone support projects in different locations, managed by different voluntary or charitable organisations. Researchers used semi‐structured interviews and a Delphi questionnaire to obtain the views of project coordinators.
Although the projects were found to provide a much needed service for socially isolated and lonely older people, the study identified four key areas of concern: operational structure; promotion and publicity; recruitment of volunteers; referral processes. Project coordinators wanted more autonomy and the flexibility to respond to older people's needs. Projects were limited by restrictions imposed by funding bodies or services themselves.
Project coordinators recommended more local control over project finances, clear referral pathways linking voluntary and statutory bodies, long‐term funding involving project coordinators and older people in planning and delivery, more training for project coordinators, clear record keeping and a coordinated approach to promotion and publicity.
While other studies have highlighted the importance of user involvement, this study provides valuable evidence demonstrating that those responsible for managing and delivering telephone support services, and service users, are instrumental in decision making and planning processes. As organisations are streamlined in efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness, there is a need for a wider cultural change in the way supportive programmes are viewed and funded.
This article describes a series of small‐scale investigations conducted with older people to understand the importance of independent transport to their daily lives and…
This article describes a series of small‐scale investigations conducted with older people to understand the importance of independent transport to their daily lives and the key barriers that they face which constrain their travel patterns. The investigations used a blend of methods including literature review, focus groups, accompanied walks, geographical information system (GIS) mapping and interviews with older people and experts working in the field of transport planning. The findings were tested through a series of practitioner and user workshops.While other studies have also provided valuable evidence on the importance of transport to well‐being the article presents evidence as to important cultural aspects of the predominant approach to transport planning which lead to older people's needs not receiving the attention that they need or deserve. There is a lack of training of professionals in the specific needs of this group compounded by a lack of time devoted to understanding these. Efforts to automate the identification of problem areas using GIS mapping do not match well to the problems expressed by older people. This leads us to conclude that a more community‐based, user‐led approach is most likely to deliver the inclusive transport system that transport planners say they wish to develop and that older people would like to travel on.
This paper aims to give an overview of the issue of loneliness, an update of issues heard of from across the country, as well as some positive stories and projects being delivered to alleviate loneliness in older age.
This paper describes the current research into loneliness in older age, including related health issues and anecdotal evidence from local groups linking reductions in services with increased levels of loneliness in older age.
Loneliness is a highly subjective emotion that is difficult and complex to measure. However, research has shown that men and women are affected differently. It has been shown to have strong links to health issues such as depression, Alzheimer's and heart disease as well as having been shown to be a bigger risk factor in early mortality than lifelong smoking and obesity.
This paper highlights the first steps being taken by organisations working, under the umbrella of a recently launched Campaign to End Loneliness, towards further reducing loneliness in older age.