An idea for seniors: The men’s sheds : A safe and inclusive space for older men

Here’s an idea worth sharing.

Studies show that as men age it is harder to form friendships and that men often have habits that pose certain health risks (alcohol and tobacco use, for example).

This can lead to social isolation and the accompanying negative health impacts.

This interesting idea called men’s sheds sounds like a way to help men form social or community groups, more similarly to their female counterparts. However, developing social activities for older men, especially those who are lonely or socially isolated, and encouraging their participation can be complex.

This article and the studies covered measure the concrete effects of activities dedicated to men (whether in the context of men’s sheds or other clubs).

The findings seem to indicate that creating a way for men to share their health concerns and experiences in a supportive environment that is not perceived as part of the formal health and social-services system seems to increase their overall well-being.

Read the article below:

Developing activities to promote social activity among older men, especially those who are lonely or socially isolated, is complex.

  • For the last two decades, the creation of “men’s sheds” has generated an undeniable interest around the world.
  • These men-only spaces have beneficial effects on mental health and social well-being by allowing men to work, break social isolation and give back to their community.Have you heard about men’s sheds? These are spaces dedicated to older men that aim to break their social isolation, provide them with a place to work and talk, and put them in contact with professionals who could diagnose physical or mental health problems.Have you heard about men’s sheds? These are spaces dedicated to older men that aim to break their social isolation, provide them with a place to work and talk, and put them in contact with professionals who could diagnose physical or mental health problems.By attending these clubs, older men can stay active, develop new skills, help their community, engage in recreational activities, make new friends and even discuss health issues with healthcare and social-care professionals.The men’s shed is an Australian concept dating back more than 20 years. This concept has taken root in Canada, with 17 men’s sheds in five Canadian provinces.(1-3) Created in response to the alarming rate of suicide among older men in Australia, these clubs are now focused on improving the overall health and well-being of older men around the world. Without wanting to perpetuate clichés of men always playing with their tools in their shed, and having difficulty establishing social relations, it remains that many older men thrive in this kind of environment, surrounded by men who share common interests.

    What the research tells us

    A systematic review of 14 studies, including 11 from Australia, two from the United Kingdom and one from Canada, examined the effects of men’s sheds and other social activities for older men on their health and well-being.(4) Men often have habits that pose certain health risks (alcohol and tobacco use, for example), have more difficulty in developing friendships as they get older, tend to be more socially isolated, and are less likely to join social or community groups, unlike their female counterparts. Developing social activities for older men, especially those who are lonely or socially isolated, and encouraging their participation, is therefore often complex.

The Bottom Line Developing activities to promote social activity among older men, especially those who are lonely or socially isolated, is complex. For the last two decades, the creation of “men’s sheds” has generated an undeniable interest around the world. These men-only spaces have beneficial effects on mental health […]


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