Objectives: Resilience-building interventions have not yet targeted older adults, despite the importance of well-being for maintaining independence and health. The ‘My Generation’ programme aims to build resilience through greater access to social networks, well-being activities, and psycho-educational support; this paper examines service evaluation data from its pilot implementation to identify factors leading to positive outcomes.
Method: The ‘My Generation’ programme comprises eight weekly 2-hour group sessions; each session includes both psychoeducation and a well-being activity. Participants were invited to complete questionnaires at the start and end of the course, and 12 weeks later. These included measures of well-being, loneliness, social connections and self-efficacy.
Results: Baseline assessments were completed by 239 older people (average age 71, range 50-97), attending 38 courses in four centres. Most were female (80%), 40% were widowed, 25% divorced/separated and 64% lived alone. Demographics did not differ between those completing post-intervention assessments (N = 137) and those who did not. Compared with normative data, participants had significantly lower well-being and greater feelings of loneliness than age-peers. Significant improvements in well-being, self-efficacy, social connections and one measure of loneliness were evident at post-intervention and follow-up assessments. Improvement in well-being at post-intervention was greater in those who were divorced/separated and who were not carers, and at follow-up in females and those living alone.
Conclusion: The ‘My Generation’ package appeared effective in improving well-being, self-efficacy, social connections and aspects of loneliness in at-risk older people. More research is needed to identify the intervention’s key components and possible between-centre differences in outcomes.