Forms of community participation among older people luana vallettaPresentation Transcript
Forms of community participation among older people Trajectories and paths RIHSC ~ R esearch Institute for Health and Social Change – Manchester Metropolitan University JUDITH SIXSMITH LUANA VALLETTA RIHSC CONFERENCE - 1 st July 2011
THEORICAL BACKGROUND Silent Revolution> Populations are growing older in most of the countries around the world: this trend has characterized the age structure of developed countries for well over a century. At present, over 60s represent the 20,1% of the Ita li an population and ¼ of the voting people. It is estimated that in 2040 31,3% of italian population will be composed of people aged 65 and over characterized by good qualitiy of life, health and less disability then the past. In the U K it is estimated that by 2034 23% of the population will be aged 65 and over (see figure below). UK population projections for 2034 are ONS National Population Projections (NPP) 2008 based.
FORMS OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION AMONG OLDER PEOPLE: TRAJECTORIES AND PATHS Preliminary findings A thematic analysis of interview transcripts form the ENABLE-AGE project (UK, 2003); Qualitative data from an Italian research (Trajectories of over 60s’ social and political participation in Cesena; 2010); An ongoing literature review of current debates on older people’s community participation
A lot of authors associate successful aging with social participation , i.e. active engagment in social and community life (Rowe, Khan, 1987; Freund, Baltes, 2002; Gerstorf, Smith, Baltes, 2006). Social participation the process by which the community is actualized, negotiated and eventually modified (“ actualization of the community” Campbell and Jovchelovitch, 2000) The community participation in volunteer activities is an important predictor of older people`s life satisfaction, quality of life and well being (Harlow, Cantor, 1996: Cotterill et al, 2001) with benefits for both physical and psychological health and higher levels in the perception of social support. (Freedman, 1999; Carstensen, 1995; 2004). OLDER PEOPLE PARTICIPATION Key for a SA : having an active role in the society, keeping and experiencing a high sense of competence and control over life . (Midlarsky, 1991; Herzog, 1998).
Engagement PROACTIVE Leading a group; coordinating organization and designates either direct and personal contributions to civil society with important and proactive roles for promoting change and improving the quality of life of others in the community ACTIVE Membership in various group, associtations and socially oriented sharing of time. Resources. And ideas. Usually taking place in organized structures. PERIPHERAL Being in and around , where shopping, sitting in the park or watching the “world going by” are mentioned in terms of personal involment in community events
Active and Proactive Participation
Ageing does not exist (or is just one of the phases of the adulthood).
Ageing starts when you stop participating in social life.
Ageing starts when you feel old and useless.
SENIOR RESOURCES Being an important resource for their families and communities (experience, social capital and knowledge) OTHER FORMS SENIORES `S COUNCIL MEETING PARTICIPATION SOCIAL REPRESENTATIOS OF AGEING : Peripheral Participation
Feeling old, without energy and not useful
“ I reached the expiration date”
More spare time available, the necessity to look for a new social role.
The need to “be out there”, to give a social contribution, to help, to feel useful
New relationships, frienships
Feeling useful, socially valued , alive
Relativization of one’s own problems
New competences, knows-out , skills
TO VOTE Tool ~ Right ~Duty
TO BE INFORMED
A tool for:
Remaining involved and integrated in the society
Example of transition to proactive political participation previous volunteer experiences Sympathetic of a political party widowhood continue a shared passion with her late husband More time available Join in political party District representative Political party need to stay with the people Social problem Help to continue live Feel alive relationship Gratitude of the people social acceptability spurred in making better Sons grown up
CONCLUSION Preliminary findings show that several physical, psychological, social and environmental factors can influence the different ways in which older people experience community participation. Among the physical, psychological and social factors : people’s bodily changes, self-efficacy, experience, time available, requirement to redefine social roles and their need to feel useful. Environmental factors include the presence of public transportation. The presence of organization particular policy for promote or help the process of participation. Civic engagement can promote the construction of new sociael roles, goals, interpersonal and cognitive stimula, such as becoming a source of psychological and physical health and for the community at large.
THANKS ! For the attention Questions & suggestions
20 th Semi-structured qualitative interviews
Analyzed with ATLAS.ti Software
Themes coded in six broad categories
Partecipants: Average age 67.5 Still active in volunteering and political activities. OTHER INFO : Only the 45% had done volunteer work even before retirement. OVER 60S’ SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN ITALY AND THE UK: SAMPLES AND METHODS ENABLE~AGE PROJECT UK, 2003 PARTICIPANTS 20 th old people 20° very old people?? “ Very old” people with different kinds of participation living alone at home Trajectories of social participation in Italy, 2010 The aim of the ENABLE-AGE project was to explore the relationship between home and healthy ageing. The in-depth studies approached this task from the perspectives of 40 th KEY CONCEPTS home, independence , participation , health and well-being and societal supports
Social representations of ageing and ideas for projects