Pacific participants tended to refer to their whole family as their contact rather than single out a family member. See Notice NOT-MH-20-055. By contrast, a few participants described themselves as always being ‘loners’, yet on closer inspection of their narratives this often seemed to be both complicated and to be temporary rather than a life-long persona. Participants who were late-life migrants (all Asian and most Pacific participants) highlighted just how exclusionary not being able to speak English proficiently was in their everyday life. (Quiet ‘hmms’ and long silence). It took us a long time to walk a long way back. Working with a diverse group of Pacific, Māori, Asian and New Zealand European older adults, this paper explores what matters to older people when discussing social connectedness? This is fair. Yes, so I try to make do without having to depend on them. Through the Connect for Health Challenge, up to 20 organizations will receive grants of up to $20,000 to implement strategies to increase social connectedness … Programs and practices that promote social connectedness and support are one element of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Making English-language courses widely available and free would help improve this. It involves feeling loved, cared for, and valued, and forms the basis of interpersonal relationships. Strategies to Increase Connectedness: Elementary School Toolkit The purpose of this resource is to provide educators with strategies to increase connectedness and student sense of belonging to their school. I was joking about it: it's testing my ability to walk. All participants discussed health decline, which they perceived as age-related, as both directly and indirectly impacting their ability to connect. Group discussion participants and Māori participants in particular emphasised the importance of volunteering as a way of being engaged in the community themselves and the best way to help others. Our analysis demonstrates that older people conceptualise social connectedness as a multi-levelled concept that reflected relationships of affinity on the interpersonal level (family, friends), the meso-level of neighbourhood and community, and at the level of culture and society. We employed a horizontal sampling strategy, which incorporates a mixture of strong and weak ties as ‘bridges’ into new social networks, thus allowing a number of entry-points to our population (Geddes et al., Reference Geddes, Parker and Scott2018). This was apparent in one NZE man's vivid description of the exhausting and difficult work getting out of the house means for him: …crawling into the car, getting in and out of the car … with my restricted ability to move around. Navy life can be tough on romantic relationships. And I go, ‘oh mōrena’ [morning]. It does so by moving beyond individual psychological or physical characteristics to consider the nature of older people's wider social networks (Cornwell et al., Reference Cornwell, Laumann and Schumm2008; Wiles et al., Reference Wiles, Allen, Palmer, Hayman, Keeling and Kerse2009; Yen, Reference Yen, Shim, Martinez and Baker2012) and engagement in the ‘social world in toto’ (Bellingham, Reference Bellingham, Cohen, Jones and Spaniol1989; Lee, Reference Lee, Draper and Lee2001; Register and Scharer, Reference Register and Scharer2010). Participants did not want to be viewed as a burden on others, especially their families, and many exerted considerable self-regulation (Register and Herman, Reference Register and Herman2010) to cultivate their interests and emotions in order to be viewed by others as socially desirable. Our participants highlighted that it was possible to be connected on some levels and not others. Social connectedness, i.e. The character of a place results from “a distinct mixture [italics in original] of wider and more local social relations,” so that an understanding of sense of place “can only be constructed by linking that place to places beyond” (Massey, 1993, p. 68). But we say hello, ’cos I've gotta go past her unit. We are 70 or 80 years old, but the bus drove past us and stopped ahead where it was more than ten metres away. Group interview participants are also identified by their ethnicity and gender as well as their group (KG: Korean group, CG: Chinese group, MxG: mixed ethnicity group). Nevertheless, there was a strong feeling of not wanting to bother family members, which often meant they limited the amount of support and degree of contact they had with their family: My son is always available, my daughter-in-law and I've got a sister-in-law who's available. Is the driving skill so bad? Pacific participants were also far more likely to live with another family member (eight of ten compared to two of 13 European participants) and have a family member present at the interview (four of ten). This paper reports on individual and group interviews from the initial qualitative phase of a two-phase mixed-methods study on maintaining social connectedness in older age in New Zealand. No intimate friends? Participants were offered the option of having a support person with them. Ethics approval was gained from the University of Auckland's Human Participants Ethics Committee and additional health board-specific ethics approval was attained for recruitment of participants via Older People's Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination (NASC) teams at two hospitals. We identified three themes that underpinned their experiences of being socially connected: getting out of the house, the ability to connect and feelings of burden. We draw from individual, in-depth interviews with 44 older adults, and three group interviews comprising 32 older adults. Interviewer: And how many are you close to here? Male participants spoke about friendships as a space to learn new things and women talked about the importance of having close friendships; as one female European participant termed it, ‘di dinky’ (true and reliable) friendships (EF03), which enabled you to share your emotions and health concerns. And besides, there is no single Korean person living around this neighbourhood. There was also mention of desire for new romantic companionship from participants who did not or no longer had a spouse (noting that 38 of the 44 participants were in this category). (EM, MxG). Feature Flags: { This grandmother's got a life!’ (Other participants erupt in laughter) (MF, MxG). By age 7 to 8, children no longer believe that all truth-telling is good and all lying bad. And because they have to sort of clear their way and for me to have that space, like today. Nevertheless, as our research participants came from four very broad and uniquely New Zealand groupings we could not capture the diversity of each of the cultural groups. And consequently [it has reduced] my interests in going out anywhere, reducing my ability [and] my willingness to do anything ’cos it was such a rigmarole. However, our findings also support previous research which has identified the role that health-related factors such as mobility and diminished energy play in directly and indirectly supporting participants’ ability to connect socially (Heylen, Reference Heylen2010; Smith, Reference Smith2012). (AF01). The process used in this study was inclusive of younger adults (age 40–65) as well as older adults (65+) in order to further understand how they envision a community that could support their own aging in place. We applied the visa and the government was willing to accept our applications. Involvement in wider social … "comments": true, by also enhancing protective factors that help children and adolescents avoid multiple behaviors that place them at risk for adverse health and educational outcomes. "figures": false Participants preferred to socialise with people from similar cultural backgrounds where they shared taken-for-granted social customs and knowledges. MF02: Well, it depends what's on our agenda for the week. The group discussions were held in community venues operated by Age Concern and the Chinese Positive Ageing Trust. Enhancing protective factors also might buffer children and adolescents from the potentially harmful effects of negative situations and events, such exposure to violence. Thank you to Anne Koh, Emma Moselen and Jinglin Lin who helped with interviews and Jing Xu who helped with translation. And I think it works both ways, you've got to make the effort to get out there and do something eh. Characteristics of individual interview participants, Table 2. where are you roaming?’, so I had to put a note on the board and ‘say come back and see me after 3 o'clock when my mokopuna's [grandchild] home. The desire to get out of the house was also influenced by their views on their current living situations. Cowdell, Fiona Underpinning discussions of what helped and hindered participants to connect was an emphatically expressed desire not to burden others. "peerReview": true, enhance social connectedness and social support – two aspects of ... characteristics describe the properties of the social network at large, the functional characteristics can influence the ... identifying the different social network related factors that can be used to assess social connectedness … Alongside these similarities we also discuss important differences. "openAccess": "0", Offering the first response in the larger group discussion to a question about how older people can avoid loneliness, an older NZE participant explains the importance of connection: As long as people are physically able of course, but I think one of the things to help really is to volunteer in the community if possible. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), under Grant No. Additional health board-specific ethics approval was attained for recruitment of participants via Older People's Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination teams at two hospitals: Counties Manukau Research Office (2291) and Waitemata DHB (RM13321). 7 Practices to Increase Social Connection and Resilience in the Workplace Published on June 3, 2015 June 3, 2015 • 18 Likes • 6 Comments FE02: Frustration, not loneliness, frustration. These factors not only affect an employee’s work performance, but it affects employee health too. And I've been to see them, but you know, they weren't coming to my place and I thought oh that's funny, so I go out of my way to see them. Lee and Robbins (1998) later characterized social connectedness as a type of relational schema or a "cognitive structure representing regularities in pat- The majority of our sample were widowed or divorced and only six participants lived with their spouse (in two cases they were also living with their children). This meeting summary presents recommendations from experts on how to expand youth suicide prevention to focus on “upstream” approaches. Participants framed their feelings of social connectedness within wider contexts which either enabled or limited their physical ability to get to social situations and/or have the capacity to make meaningful connections. And then my family started coming home and they'd leave a note on the door, Aunty where are you? Social support and connectedness are often discussed as functional characteristics of social networks; they have also been identified by Ashida and Heaney (Reference Ashida and Heaney 2008) and by this study's authors as relevant topics in this literature review. In addition to the substantial similarities across participants, we also found important differences. PF04: Of something like in your mind, you can feel not, that's not you. Table 1. 18 November 2019. (EF02). We understand this project as offering a new lens to help contribute to the burgeoning field of research about older peoples’ experiences of loneliness and social isolation, including in the increasingly multi-cultural New Zealand setting (Jamieson et al., Reference Jamieson, Gibson, Abey-Nesbit, Ahuriri-Driscoll, Keeling and Schluter2017; Wright-St Clair and Nayar, Reference Wright-St Clair and Nayar2017). (EF11). "Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." Participants in this situation took the mapping exercise as a platform to explain and illustrate their current social situation, often bringing their narratives back to their agency and resourcefulness; however, we understood this strategy to be inappropriate for some cultural groups and should not be imposed on participants. It’s important to remember that not all social connections are healthy. We followed culturally appropriate protocols whereby our interviewers and interviewees were matched by ethnicity and language; eight researchers were involved in conducting the interviews. However, operationalizing meaningful family involvement within SOCs remains a challenge, with little attention paid to the role of personal social support networks (PSSNs). Strategies target multiple levels of influence including attitudes and knowledge as well as the social and physical environments. We also looked at the overall narrative of the interviews as well as particular stories told by participants, to understand cultural interpretations of connectedness. Data were analysed using thematic and narrative analyses. A romantic relationship is the closest form of social connectedness for many people. This aspiration was usually discreetly alluded to in private interviews rather than explicitly outlined. Social connectedness is heralded as a positive alternative to the deficits model associated with loneliness and social isolation by re-centring older people's agency and resourcefulness to adapt to social circumstances and remain socially active in later life (Cornwell et al., Reference Cornwell, Laumann and Schumm2008; Register and Scharer, Reference Register and Scharer2010). The group interview guide was adapted from the interview guide to facilitate group discussion, exploring what participants perceive helped and hindered social connection but not including the personalised mapping of social connections. Strategic direction for the prevention of suicidal behavior: Promoting individual, family, and community connectedness to prevent suicidal behavior. Nevertheless, we observed differences within our Pacific and Asian late-life migrants. This Director’s Corner features a guest post by Dr. Yeates Conwell on how to promote connectedness among older adults. Note: 1. Step 1: Describe the Problem and Its Context, Step 3: Identify Key Risk and Protective Factors, Safe and Effective Messaging and Reporting, Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR), National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, National Organizations and Federal Agencies, comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. An update of the IOM book, Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders, this work focuses on the research base and program experience with young populations. Many participants who wanted to travel independently shared the difficulties they experienced with public transport, which was described as deeply unreliable with buses rarely running to schedule. Lack of funding was seen as a barrier to this: The government can pay attention to the elderly activity centre, organise some activities; these all need money. Nevertheless, participants also expressed concerns around finances as an additional limitation to socialising, especially for those reliant solely on their government pension for income, as a Korean group discussion participant succinctly put it: ‘[b]ecause we feel hesitant due to financial matters, we tend not to meet up as often’ (F, KG). Seven of our participants had either a cat or a dog but they did not speak in any particular length about them. social connectedness. Nevertheless, due to increasing rents and job-market precariousness, neighbourhoods (especially in our large metropolitan field site) were felt to be transitory and no longer offer the often-idealised form of social support, such as positive neighbouring, that our participants desired (Scharf and de Jong Gierveld, Reference Scharf and de Jong Gierveld2008; Stanley et al., Reference Stanley, Moyle, Ballantyne, Jaworski, Corlis, Oxlade, Stoll and Young2010; Bantry-White et al., Reference Bantry-White, O'Sullivan, Kenny and O'Connell2018). The three themes identified were: getting out of the house, ability to connect and feelings of burden. A narrative example from the Chinese group, told in the course of a heated discussion about the wider prejudice older migrants experience, illustrates: Y: Old men like us came to this place, it seemed we are taking the advantage of the government. Some participants felt they could not rely on bus drivers to help them get on and off the bus, which meant they often stayed home rather than risk embarrassment. Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, Social Work and Community Welfare, Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia, School of Nursing, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1900165X, Reference Cruwys, Dingle, Haslam, Haslam, Jetten and Morton, Reference Seeman, Kaplan, Knudsen, Cohen and Guralnik, Reference Wiles, Allen, Palmer, Hayman, Keeling and Kerse, Reference Bellingham, Cohen, Jones and Spaniol, Reference Ibrahim, Abolfathi Momtaz and Hamid, Reference Rantakokko, Iwarsson, Vahaluoto, Portegijs, Viljanen and Rantanen, Reference Cattan, White, Bond and Learmouth, Reference Jamieson, Gibson, Abey-Nesbit, Ahuriri-Driscoll, Keeling and Schluter, Reference Goll, Charlesworth, Scior and Stott, Reference Stanley, Moyle, Ballantyne, Jaworski, Corlis, Oxlade, Stoll and Young, Reference Bantry-White, O'Sullivan, Kenny and O'Connell, Non-representational Theory & Health: The Health in Life in Space-time Revealing, The symbolic representation of community in social isolation and loneliness among older people: insights for intervention from a rural Irish case study, Connectedness: some skills for spiritual health, Social needs of older people: a systematic literature review, Preventing social isolation and loneliness among older people: a systematic review of health promotion interventions, Loneliness and social support of older people living alone in a county of Shanghai, China, The social connectedness of older adults: a national profile, The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process, Social group memberships protect against future depression, alleviate depression symptoms and prevent depression relapse, The importance of social connectedness in building age-friendly communities, Effects of social integration on preserving memory function in a nationally representative US elderly population, The role of social engagement and identity in community mobility among older adults aging in place, When the snowball fails to roll and the use of ‘horizontal’ networking in qualitative social research, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Barriers to social participation among lonely older adults: the influence of social fears and identity, The older, the lonelier? 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