Can a Green Care Informal Learning Program Foster Active Aging in Older Adults? Results From a Qualitative Pilot Study in Central Italy

Sara Santini, Flavia Piccinini, Cristina Gagliardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to population aging worldwide, it is important for Health Care Systems to design new services fostering Active Aging dimensions (e.g., physical health, psychological well-being, social engagement, and lifelong learning). The aim of this pilot study was to develop new services fostering Active Aging dimensions by means of a 12-month green care informal learning program targeting 112 individuals among community-dwelling older people and day care center users. The impact of the intervention was assessed through three rounds of focus groups. Individuals’ perception of the training benefits depended on their health and social condition at baseline. The program improved the social participation and learning attitudes of community-dwelling older people and the perceived well-being and health of day care center users. Green care activities triggered an Active Aging virtuous spiral where learning new practical and relational competencies helped older people recognize their value. Thus, it is recommendable to include green care therapy within the practice of services for older people, especially day care centers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Active Aging
  • community-dwelling older adults
  • day care center
  • health services
  • learning
  • longevity
  • prevention
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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