Groningen Active Ageing Strategy – The Netherlands
Sociaal Vitaal is an intervention programme for community-dwelling, sedentary frail older adults in deprived areas. The aim of the intervention is to promote ‘healthy ageing’ in the target population. Focus is on 1) increasing the physical activity of elderly; 2) develop resilience to cope with ageing and 3) increase social skills. The intervention consists of the recruitment of participants, screening of participants for physical inactivity, loneliness and lack of resilience.
The elderly are recruited by volunteers through home-to-home visits. Elderly that are interested in the project are screened by a fitness test in combination with a questionnaire that measures loneliness and resilience. The project consists of a 1) multifaceted exercise programme in their own neighbourhood where participants will be supported to meet the Dutch Norm on Physical Activity; 2) a resilience training focussing on coping with fear, gaining of self-confidence, setting boundaries and getting grip on emotions and own behaviour; 3) social skills training focusing on an increased insight in the social interactions and to improve social skills to make and maintain social contacts; 4) education of several health and social topics, adapted to the participants needs, which help to increase health literacy. The intervention lasts for 9 months. After the intervention, a continuation phase takes place for 24 months. During this period, participants receive self-management training. This training focuses on how to implement the lessons learned during the intervention in daily practice. In 5 meetings participants are trained to recruit new members for their own activity group in their own neighbourhood and to organize and manage this group by themselves. They are also encouraged to join other activities in their neighbourhood. The following months are used to implement and sustain the intervention by align with local policy plans and support the groups to be self-sufficient.
A local project group, formed prior to the intervention, defines the neighbourhood of the intervention (deprived area), the target population and the involvement of all relevant partners. A protocol is available in which the intervention is explained step-by-step. The health promotion material, letters to participants, recruitment protocol, screening protocol and outline of the trainings are described in a comprehensive protocol (in Dutch). Training is available for practitioners of the exercise class. Instructions and training for the social skills and resilience training are also available. The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated in 2 pilot studies, 16 months and 9 months after the intervention. The following conclusions were drawn: 25% of the initial target population was reached; participation in the project resulted in an increased fitness, increased self-efficacy and improved social skills for social networking. A process evaluation showed that the project met the needs and living situation of elderly with a low-socio-economic status. The outcome of the intervention will be evaluated by an effect evaluation; results are expected in 2015.
Additional information: http://www.galm.nl/over-galm/publicaties-materialen/
(last accessed in March 2017)