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Sporting memories & the social inclusion of older people experiencing mental health problems

Clark, Michael and Murphy, Charlie and Jameson-Allen, Tony and Wilkins, Chris (2015) Sporting memories & the social inclusion of older people experiencing mental health problems. Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 19 (4). ISSN 2042-8308

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Purpose Social exclusion and isolation of older people and their mental health are likely to be more significant, interlinked issues for society as we experience a changing demographic profile. We urgently need to identify effective ways of addressing these challenges that can be easily mobilised to meet diverse needs in different settings. This paper explores the impact of sporting memories (SM) work as one approach to help meet this need. This SM work entails the use of sports-based reminiscence to engage with older people experiencing mental health problems. To date this has especially focused on people living with dementia in institutional and in community settings. Design/methodology/approach The article sets out the sporting memories idea and discusses lessons learnt from case studies of its application to meet the inclusion and mental health needs of different older people in institutional and community settings. Findings The evidence from the application of sporting memories work to date is that it is an effective and flexible means of engaging people to improve their social inclusion and mental wellbeing. It can be readily deployed in various care and community settings. Research limitations/implications The evidence to date is of case studies of the use of sporting memories work, and, although these are now extensive case studies, further research is needed on the costs and impacts of sporting memories work. Practical implications Sporting memories work is a flexible and readily adoptable intervention to engage older people and help improve their social inclusion and mental wellbeing. Originality/value This is the first paper to set out the sporting memories work.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 10:58
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 11:06

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