Age Scotland has teamed up with the University of Stirling to conduct research on quality of life in later years.
Over 30 community researchers across Scotland are working to find out what the essence of a good life is and what older people need to achieve and/or maintain it. The project, which is funded by the Life Changes Trust, will also explore how quality of life differs for people with a long term condition, like dementia, as well as older people who become carers for a loved one.
Our researchers will use a number of methods to gather information, including focus groups across the country, from Shapinsay in Orkney to Galashiels in the Borders.
Key themes that have emerged from the research include personal independence, health and wellbeing, care, mobility and transport, relationships, technology, communities and services, and the role of older people in society.
Befriending services are a lifeline – even if you have a close family, often you feel like you don’t want to impose on them. You want to be independent, and a befriender won’t pass judgement.
There should be incentives for volunteers to take on home care visits and spend some time chatting to people. The home visits you get only last 15 minutes – it’s just not enough. You want to get to know a person and have a chat with them.
Many people who once had a social status during their working life tend to lose it once they reach a certain age. But older people still have a lot to contribute to society.
In addition to the in-depth information provided by our pool of community researchers, we will broaden our findings through a questionnaire which will be distributed right across Scotland to involve and engage as many older people as possible. If you’d like to take part and receive a copy of the questionnaire, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Age Scotland Policy Team on 0333 323 2400.
The project findings will be summarised in a final written and video report, and a series of short reports and posters on key themes. We will also produce a toolkit to support similar projects in the future. We aim to use our findings to influence decision makers to improve policies that support older people as they age. The report will be published in autumn 2017.