Succesful focus group in The Netherlands!

Recently, we conducted interviews and a focus group for our Community Scouts project. The goal was to explore how neighbourhood residents can support older adults in living independently for longer and how professionals can collaborate more effectively with residents. Through this project, we aim to contribute to the creation of resilient and age-friendly environments. We synthesized the following key lessons from our focus group:

  • Volunteers are essential: Volunteers are crucial in supporting older adults and professionals in the community. However, they often do not know whom to refer to when professional help is needed
  • Ethical dilemmas: Volunteers sometimes face ethical questions when they recognize that more professional help is needed. Involving professionals might breach privacy and trust
  • Regular interaction: Regular contact and exchanges between residents and professionals, such as in meetings, help volunteers feel appreciated and increase their knowledge about the roles of different stakeholders in the neighborhood. Professionals, in turn, gain a better understanding of who can contribute within the community.
  • Desire for education: Volunteers express a strong desire to learn more about topics such as dementia, privacy, and different cultures. They prefer learning in group settings with interactive elements.

We will incorporate these insights into our project moving forward and aim to develop a guide for anyone who wants to support older adults in living independently for longer.

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