Place and wellbeing:shedding light on activity interventions for older men

Milligan, Christine and Payne, Sheila and Bingley, Amanda and Cockshott, Zoe (2015) Place and wellbeing:shedding light on activity interventions for older men. Ageing and Society, 35 (1). pp. 124-149. ISSN 0144-686X

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Abstract

In the UK, one in five of the population is an older man, many of whom live alone. Loneliness and social isolation is a growing issue for many of these older men, one that has been associated with elevated blood pressure, poor physical health, increased mortality and mental ill-health, including depression, suicide and dementia. Social isolation thus presents new challenges for the physical and mental wellbeing of older men. This is not unique to the UK. Yet whilst inclusionary social spaces and supportive social ties can be important for enhancing physical and mental wellbeing amongst older people, evidence suggests that lone-dwelling older men can experience greater difficulty in accessing effective social support, relative to older women. Understanding those spaces of communal activity that are likely to be successful in promoting health and wellbeing amongst older men is thus important if we are to improve their quality of life. In this paper, we draw on an evaluation of a 'Men in Sheds' intervention in the UK, to illustrate how everyday spaces within local communities can be designed to both promote and maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of older men. In doing so, we engage with the geographical concept of the therapeutic landscape offering new insights into how Sheds, as created therapeutic landscapes, may offer gendered spaces in which older men can perform their masculinity and which hold real potential for the maintenance of their health and wellbeing.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ageing and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/r1
Subjects:
ID Code:
71150
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Oct 2014 09:03
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Sep 2020 01:12