Safety and security for older people
The aim of the network is to form a multidisciplinary team to identify, assess and prioritise threats relating to safety and security that occur during the day-to-day lives of older people and how such threats can affect their independent living and quality of life.
Rachel McCrindle, University of Reading
Research has consistently shown that the majority of older people want to continue to live independently at home for as long as possible and public policy across a variety of different countries supports this objective, an important dimension of which is to promote the safety and security of older people. This is illustrated within the WHO (World Health Organisation) conceptualisation of 'active' ageing that identifies the significance of safety and security to the quality of life of older people. There is little research that directly explores older peoples' everyday lives, frames this in terms of safety and security and explores potential solutions.
In a typical day, an older person will undertake many activities - some vital and common and some more exceptional and sporadic. Each presents a potential threat to their safety and security. Such threats may be related to an older person's well-being, home, environment or other people that they come into contact with, and events such as crime, falling, illness, isolation, abuse etc., which if they happen require additional support for the older person and can reduce their quality of life.
Throughout the past year, the KISS network has actively engaged older people so that the priorities THEY identify can inform and shape the research agenda. We have explored these issues via self completion questionnaires, focus groups and workshops, undertaken with diverse groups of older people to enable comparison across key characteristics, such as, levels of dependency, rural/urban and socio-demographic factors.
Based on analysis of our results we have developed a model of factors relating to safety and security of older people and their quality of life and in relation to this we are currently developing our CRP to develop innovative solutions to address the issues of most concern.
Unfortunately, this project was not funded by the NDA.