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Voices on well-being Jennie Fleming. Our questions. What does the term ‘well-being’ mean to you? How does well-being feel? How do you achieve well-being? What are the barriers? What role do services play?

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Voices on well-being

Jennie Fleming

Our questions

  • What does the term ‘well-being’ mean to you? How does well-being feel?

  • How do you achieve well-being?

  • What are the barriers?

  • What role do services play?

  • What can be done to improve well-being in older people?

A participative approach
A participative approach

  • Open questions, exploring, probing, encouraging discussion; looking for meaning and explanation

  • A diverse range of older people UK-wide

  • 163 older people:

    • 16 focus groups

    • 30 individual or paired interviews

  • Phase 1 of Shaping our Age

  • Definitions of well being
    Definitions of Well-being

    • Feeling physically healthy – free from pain

      • Having get up and go

      • Able to do what you want to do

      • Feeling of independence

      • Feeling well – mentally / emotionally …

        … happy, content, satisfaction, peace of mind, comfort, warmth, enjoyment

      • Self-worth, achievement

    Number 1 cause of well being
    Number 1 Cause of Well-being

    Relationships and social contacts …

    • Family and friends, community groups and clubs

      • Fun, enjoyment, support, safe and secure, belonging, feeling valued

      • Coping with illness and other difficulties

      • Structure and ‘something to look forward to’

      • Volunteering and helping others

      • Meeting people, feeling useful, self esteem

    Main barrier loneliness feeling isolated
    Main Barrier – Loneliness, feeling isolated

    Some causes:

    Illness; physical impairments; bereavement; language barriers; fragmented families; poor community support; inadequate services; de-personalised services; living alone; inability to leave the home without support

    Can lead to:

    Anxiety, depression, worsening physical health

    Impact of services on well being
    Impact of Services on Well-being


    • Health services: GPs, good hospital treatment, chiropodists, occupational therapists

    • Local authorities: housing, libraries, leisure

    • Transport: Concessionary fares, community transport

    • Voluntary sector: e.g. social and day clubs


    • Public services: negative attitudes -lack of respect, empathy, listening, compassion

    • Issues:

      • Hospital treatment / hygiene

      • GP appointment systems

      • Disability awareness

      • Information provision

      • Cuts in public expenditure

        • Libraries, post offices, community centres, clubs, public transport, concessionary fares

    What needs to change
    What needs to change?

    “We need to look at ways and means where we can do things ourselves”

    Help and support from others:

    • Involvement

    • Respect and equality

    • Practical help

    • Support in times of particular need

    • Relevant and accessible information

    • Intergenerational initiatives

    Shaping our age what s next
    Shaping our Age: What’s next?

    • Phase 1: National consultation on well-being with older people

    • Phase 2: Defining well-being and the selection of five WRVS services to participate in the action projects

    • Phase 3: Local activities in the five local sites

    • Phase 4: Learning, dissemination and action

    Martin Hoban and Vicki James