Quality statement 3: Social participation

Quality statement

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered a range of activities to build or maintain social participation.

Rationale

Participating in a range of activities, including one-to-one and group-based activities, can improve or maintain older people's mental health and wellbeing, by preventing loneliness and social isolation. Providing a range of activities increases the likelihood that the older person will find something that interests them and so will continue to participate.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure a range of activities are in place to build or maintain social participation in older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing who take part in activities to build or maintain social participation.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who take part in activities to build or maintain social participation.

Denominator – the number of older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Proportion of older people and their carers who use services and report that they have as much social contact as they would like.

Data source: Local data collection. Data can be collected nationally in the Adult social care outcomes framework 2015–16, 1I.

b) Incidence of mental health conditions among older people identified as being at risk of decline.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Incidence of admission to supported care facilities among older people identified as being at risk of decline.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (such as local authorities, local NHS providers and voluntary organisations) ensure that a range of activities are in place for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing to build or maintain their social participation.

Health, public health and social care practitioners (such as GPs, community nurses and occupational therapists) are aware of, and offer, a range of activities for older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing to build or maintain their social participation.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and NHS England) commission a range of activities to enable older people to build or maintain their social participation.

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing are offered a choice of activities to build or maintain their social participation to help prevent loneliness and social isolation.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Activities to build or maintain social participation

Group or one-to-one activities for older people that aim to prevent loneliness and social isolation. Group activities could include:

  • Singing programmes, in particular those involving a professionally-led community choir.

  • Arts, crafts and other creative activities.

  • Intergenerational activities. For example, helping with reading in schools or young people providing older people with support to use new technologies.

  • Multicomponent activities. For example, lunch with the opportunity to socialise and learn a new craft or skill in a community venue.

One-to-one activities could include:

  • Programmes to help people develop and maintain friendships. For example, peer volunteer home visiting programmes, programmes to learn about how to make and sustain friendships, or befriending programmes based in places of worship.

  • Befriending opportunities that involve brief visits, telephone calls or the use of other media.

  • Information on national or local services offering support and advice by telephone and other media.

Older people should also be made aware of the value and benefits of volunteering. It provides the opportunity to socialise, have an enjoyable experience and help others to benefit from their experience, knowledge and skills.

[NICE's guideline on older people: independence and mental wellbeing, recommendations 1.2.1, 1.3.1 and 1.4.1]

Older people

People aged 65 or older.

[NICE's guideline on older people: independence and mental wellbeing]

Older people most at risk of a decline in their independence and mental wellbeing

Older people with at least 1 of the following risk factors:

  • live alone and have little opportunity to socialise

  • low income

  • recently experienced or developed a health problem (whether or not it led to admission to hospital)

  • aged 80 or older.

Or at least 2 of the following risk factors:

  • partner has died in the past 2 years

  • carer

  • recently separated or divorced

  • recently retired (particularly if involuntarily)

  • unemployed in later life

  • had to give up driving

  • have an age-related disability.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on older people: independence and mental wellbeing, recommendation 1.5.3 and expert consensus]

Equality and diversity considerations

Offers of one-to-one or group-based activities need to take into account any mental health conditions and learning or physical disabilities that the person may have. Any written information provided should be accessible to people with additional needs, such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities.