Older people living in socially deprived circumstances may experience 20 fewer years of good health compared to less deprived older people. Their health and wellbeing may be reduced by poor diet, limited physical activity, and social isolation - reducing their overall quality of life. Active participation in communal activities and maintaining meaningful engagement with the community are integral to identity, sense of purpose and contribute to healthy ageing.
The aim of LEMONADE (An incLusivE coMmunity fOod model for health wellbeiNg and sociAl connectedness of olDer pEople) will be to explore how multigenerational socially-inclusive activities can be co-created with older people around food growing, cooking and meal sharing to improve their health, wellbeing and social connectedness.
The project will be set in a new community facility within an over-60’s social housing scheme in Bermondsey, United St Saviours Charity’s Appleby Blue. Bournemouth University is leading the project and will co-create and co-implement the research with older people and United St Saviour’s Charity as project partners.
It has been funded by Dunhill Medical Trust as part of the Building and delivering suitable living environments and communities for an ageing population funding call.
Putting older people at the heart of research
The study will use participatory community-engaged research, which means that we will work together with the residents of Appleby Blue, older people in Bermondsey and other members of the community to carry out the research.
The project will build on social, cultural and community initiatives that already exist in Bermondsey. A unique aspect of this project will be putting older people at the core of the research. We will actively involve older people as co-researchers to ensure that the perspectives of older people are embedded throughout the research cycle.
The project will be inclusive and diverse and co-created activities will be culturally-tailored and incorporate foods from diverse cultures to ensure a sense of belonging.
Older person in Bermondsey
I think to have people come together and enjoy food together and the discussion is great, very uplifting for everyone and important for being social and for good health.
Addressing the challenges of ageing
This project is not only important but necessary, as it will help address several challenges posed by ageing including social isolation, poor nutrition and health. It will contribute to new knowledge and inform policies and practices to promote quality of life and social connectedness in older people.
The impact of this research will be far-reaching, both within the UK and globally. Securing good health in older age is at the forefront of national and global policies. This research will contribute new knowledge and to initiatives that provide suitable living environments which enable older people to maintain functional independence, enhance their social connectedness, reduce social isolation and improve quality of life.
It will play an important role in influencing policy makers, architects and commissioners of social housing and buildings so that the benefits identified by this study can be replicated nationally. The experiences and resources from this project will highlight the value of lived experience of older people and will be useful to other inner-city and multigenerational communities to adopt and implement the model within their own settings.