Name of your initiative:
Groningen Active Ageing Strategy: A sustainable Dutch approach to enhance active ageing in community-dwelling older people living in deprived neighbourhoods
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Which organization is submitting this initiative?:
Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen
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Part of larger strategy or programme:
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Please provide us with more details of this programme or strategy:
The GAAS project has four building blocks: (1) Tailoring of the project; (2) Recruitment of physically underactive older people; (3) Bonding (encourage social cohesion) and empowerment of participants; (4) Bridging (encourage social participation) and maintenance of behavioural change.
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Please give a summary of your initiative (in English):
The GAAS project has four building blocks: (1) Tailoring of the project; (2) Recruitment of physically underactive older people; (3) Bonding (encourage social cohesion) and empowerment of participants; (4) Bridging (encourage social participation) and maintenance of behavioural change. First, we started close collaboration with the community association to tailor the project approach. Projects aimed at enhancing active ageing struggle to recruit participants in deprived neighbourhoods. Therefore, the recruitment strategy and the intervention were tailored to the wishes of the community. Second, together with residents of the neighbourhood a recruitment strategy was developed adjusted to the targeted participants' perceptions. A composite recruitment strategy arose, consisting of door-to-door visits, a back-door method, and a network method. Recruited participants participated in an active ageing intervention, consisting of weekly group exercise sessions in combination with integrated lifestyle modules to help participants overcome feelings of depression and loneliness, and to promote daily physical activity and healthy diet. The sessions were held in a community centre located in the middle of the neighbourhood. The third stage focused on increasing social cohesion within the groups, and on participant empowerment. From the beginning, the community and the participants ‘owned’ the project. We aimed to transfer the project responsibilities to the participants themselves after the intervention period. In the fourth stage, we aimed to support social participation and to keep the previously formed exercise groups active in their neighbourhood. A specific empowerment method was applied to realise the bridging and maintenance of behavioural change of the participants.
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What triggered this initiative?:
Physical inactivity prevalence is highest in older age groups, and residents of socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods.