Initial finding from a recent Needs Assessment in Battersea
We’ve been commissioned by Wandsworth Council to run an Age Well programme here in Battersea (the other being in Roehampton that Hestia are managing). Age Well aims to enable local older people to retain, gain or regain independence. It will support older residents with a variety of services, delivered from various community venues across Battersea.
Age Well builds on the growing evidence that older people are able to contribute to and receive support from their community, when they live in age-friendly communities, that are designed to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and bring people of all ages together.
One of the initial things we’ve done is conduct a ‘participatory needs assessment’ to find out what older people are currently doing and what support they want from an Age Well service in the future.
By going out and talking to people in the community we will be able to:
Our Elders team have, so far, talked to 54 elders over the phone, during a 4-week period (end-May to June), using a semi-structured interview.
We asked elders:
1. What did you do with your spare time before lockdown?
The elders questioned were fairly active, even those with limited mobility. The most common activities being exercise based (48%).
2. Activities attended in Battersea already (pre-lockdown)
The most common activities were exercise based (again). This bias may be due to us completing the interviews with members from KLS and those that we were put into contact with by word of mouth. We will address this post lockdown.
3. Activities you would like in Battersea
We asked respondents what activities they might like to attend in Battersea, without offering suggestions (which some did ask for).
The answers raised some questions: that some elders did not realise some activities already exist, so signposting is needed going forward (e.g. walking groups in Battersea Park, KLS lunch club).
4. Fears around life after lockdown
We wanted to know how people were feeling during lockdown and how they were feeling about returning to a post lockdown ‘new normal’.
“I am frightened to go back out. My daughter wouldn’t let me anyway. I have a rich cardiovascular history and I need to be careful.” Male, 86
“I have COPD and all this has made me nervous. I only go to the corner and back.” Female, 70
“I’ve not stopped going out. I can’t stay in these four walls all day it would drive me insane.” Male, 80
Table 1. Fears about life after lockdown
[Each pair of comments below relate to the same person. Repetitive comments have not been included.]
|What are your fears?||What would make you feel better?|
|Mixed messages from politicians. Anxiety about health issues. I have COPD and fear catching the virus.||I don’t want to attend groups. I feel I need to stay away from people.|
|I have a fear of contracting the virus as I have underlying health issues||I wouldn’t want to see lots of people.|
|Fear of the virus||2 metre distancing and small social groups|
|I want to have normal interactions. No concerns||Wearing masks hand washing|
|My health as my family are anxious about me coming back||A major reduction in the level of Covid-19 in public|
|The journey to and from activities||distancing, wearing gloves and face masks.|
|My health||Hand sanitizer & anything that will keep us safe. I know KLS will keep us safe.|
|Too many people going out||–|
|I have underlining sickness. Too many people. I need to check about my diabetes with the doctor.||–|
|Anxiety. Husband’s health||Hopefully it will be over|
5. Online Activities for Elders
We asked about the elder’s interest in online activities (in case of future lockdowns, as well as to enhance access to online activities and services in general).
Those that were interested wanted the following – (they suggested)
Most were unclear as to what being online could offer them. Only 20% used the internet currently. For three elders this was to remain in contact with family via Messenger or Skype. One elder used Zoom to attend online classes and planned to run his own online lecture series about Archaeology in the future, if he could be given trialling on how to use Zoom as a presenter. KLS Elders Manager has offered to support with this.
We plan to continue with these interviews post-lockdown, but only with elders not known to KLS.
The Elders team will begin returning to the centre from August onwards, and we will update the results accordingly.
If you’d like to take part please contact Sarah Goodall on [email protected] and 020 7223 2845. We look forward to hearing from you.