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Social Innovation for Active Ageing (SIFAA)

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

Publication date18/09/2015
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventDementia Futures - Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 18/09/2015 → …


ConferenceDementia Futures
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period18/09/15 → …


Age-related loneliness is a major social issue as it is increasing alongside an upward global population trend which predicts that nearly 22% of the world population will be aged 60 years or over by 2050 (Rutherford, 2012). This ‘silver tsunami’ (Cacioppo and Patrick, 2008) represents an unprecedented growth of the elderly population and is likely to exert socio-economic pressure globally in the form of healthcare needs etc. (Dychtwald and Flower, 1989, O'Connor, 2014).

Recent surveys conducted in many parts of the world such as the USA, the UK and Japan etc. reveal this plight of the elderly as many older people report feeling lonely ‘often’ (Hawkley and Cacioppo, 2007, Marsh, 2014, Kim et al., 2009).

The examination of current methods and techniques aimed at combating age-related loneliness in order to recognise any ‘patterns’ (Alexander et al., 1977) reveals that the current thinking around developing such interventions predominantly adopts an incremental approach (Sharma et al., 2015). Sharma et al. highlight a gap in knowledge exemplified by the lack of radical-digital interventions, and suggest that more experimentation is required in this area to under-
stand the strengths, or more to the point the limitations of radical-digital interventions (2015).

In this poster, we recognise that the Activity Theory of Ageing (ATA) (Havighurst, 1961) provides a good foundation for developing effective strategies for tackling loneliness amongst older adults and we highlight its potential and restraints in this area. We propose that its fixation on the individual as the ‘unit of analysis’ (McClelland, 1982) can be eased by combining it with Social Innovation. We examine both these theoretical frameworks to discuss how a hybridisation of
ATA and Social Innovation can allow for a significant movement away from the dominant incremental approach developing loneliness-interventions. We call this hybrid approach Social Innovation for Active Ageing (SIFAA).