Better Connected parallel session presentation


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Presentation from the 'Better Connected' parallel session at Age UK's fit as a fiddle: A lasting legacy conference

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Better Connected parallel session presentation

  1. 1. Better connectedUsing the phone to reduce isolation and improve mental wellbeingToby Williamson – Head of Development & Later Life, Mental HealthFoundationElizabeth Shaw – Social Inclusion Manager, Community Network
  2. 2. Mental Health Foundation • UK charity and national development agency in mental health and learning disabilities • Social research, service development, policy work, public information • 55+staff, wide networks, £4m a year turnover • No local branches/members or direct servicesFit as a Fiddle
  3. 3. Mental health and mental health problems • Mental health doesn’t mean mental illness • Mental health doesn’t simply mean an absence of mental illness • Mental health is about mental well being • People with good mental health can still experience mental health problems • Well being still applies to people with mental health problems • There are close links between mental and physical healthFit as a Fiddle
  4. 4. Mental health in later life • UK has an ageing population – more people growing older and living longer • 9 million people over the age of 65 • Over 10,000 centenarians alive today in the UK • The person who will live to 120+ is alive today • 25% of people over the age of 65 have symptoms of depression • Nearly 20% of people over the age of 85 have dementiaFit as a Fiddle
  5. 5. Mental health in later life: some relevant trends • Concept of later life becoming more segmented (and less relevant?) + pace of demographic/social change • People living alone, family fragmentation • Pensions/savings - a wealth/poverty divide • Rapid development of new technology • Affordability, access and transport • Rising expectations • Economic costs of care – especially dementiaFit as a Fiddle
  6. 6. Mental health and well being life • UK Inquiry into mental health and well being in later life (2006) • Key factors in mental health: discrimination, physical health, income, participation, relationships (“connectedness”) • Grouchy Old Men? Project (2010) • How to look after your mental health in later life (2011)Fit as a Fiddle
  7. 7. Fit as a Fiddle – impact on mental health • Key objective – improving mental health and well being by bringing older people together – including physical activity and healthy eating • Evaluation outcomes: • Increases in: • Mental well-being • Satisfaction with life • Social connectedness • Reduction in loneliness and social isolationFit as a Fiddle
  8. 8. A fidelity checklist for new or existing approaches to improve mental health and well being in later life • Has it been designed with substantive input from older people? • How social is it – does it bring older people (and potentially people of other ages) together? • How non-age discriminatory and non-stigmatising is it? • Can it utilise/maximise the talents and experiences of older people?Fit as a Fiddle
  9. 9. A fidelity checklist for new or existing approaches to improve mental health and well being in later life • Does it also have a physical health component? Can it enhance older people’s physical health? • How actively inclusive of diverse groups and needs is it? • How safe, affordable and accessible is it? • Does it involve a range of partner organisations? • How far does it support independent living but within supportive communities?Fit as a Fiddle
  10. 10. Community Networks telephone groups – benefits for participants • Develops social skills • Provides companionship • Alleviates feelings of isolation and disconnection • Keeps loneliness and depression at bay • Improves mood and cerates an optimistic mind-set • Allows for an exchange of valuable information • Provides for equality of access and input • Acts as a safety net for older peopleFit as a Fiddle
  11. 11. Thank you as a Fiddle