Responding to rural social care needs: Older people empowering themselves, others and their community

  • Walsh K
  • O'Shea E
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Abstract

Older adult active retirement groups encompass health promotion, social and community psychological potential. However, little is known about the internal dynamics of these groups or their contribution to individual well-being and the community. This paper examines the Third Age Foundation as an example of one such group operating in a rural area in Ireland and explores the various relationships at work internally and externally. Methodology included: structured and semi-structured interviews, focus groups and a postal survey. A substantial contribution to members' well-being and community competence and cohesion was found. Findings are discussed in reference to the importance of individual and community empowerment, sustainability, social entrepreneurship/leadership and the potential of such models to support community-based living in older age. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Active retirement groups
  • Capacity building
  • Community cohesion
  • Empowerment
  • Older people
  • Rural Ireland

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Authors

  • Kieran Walsh

  • Eamon O'Shea

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