Kan frivilligarbete påverka hälsan? - En explorativ studie om hur äldre upplever att deras hälsa påverkas av frivilligarbete.
Sammanfattning: Background:In Sweden and in many other countries the population is getting older and the number of healthy years in the aging population is increasing. It is important to create opportunities for positive aging as well as for the elderly person to feel meaningful and able to participate in society. Volunteering is an engagement that can create an opportunity for the elderly to contribute with their knowledge and time. They get the benefits of social interaction, strengthen the feeling of meaningfulness in everyday life, and at the same time be a resource to the community.Aim:The aim of the study is to provide an increased understanding of the elderly population’s experiences of volunteerism and how it affects their health; thereby generating more knowledge about the importance of volunteering as a health promotion activity.Method:The study is an explorative study with an inductive design. Volunteer workers (n = 14) from the district Askim-Frölunda-Högsbo in Gothenburg - Sweden were selected. The selection was made through convenience selection and snowball selection with a qualitative method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted during four weeks in the spring of 2020, with both men and women.Result:In the analysis, four descriptive categories emerged: sense of context, social isolation, health promotion, and volunteering. Within aforementioned categories came eight sub-themes: to be a part of society, to be acknowledged, mental health, physical activity, empowerment, health factors, desire to share, and unpaid work.Conclusion:The study shows that volunteering has a positive effect on the perceived health of the elderly person. The factors that have emerged as significant are the experience of being acknowledged, and getting appreciation for the tasks one performs. Linked to this, the title used to describe unpaid work also had an influence on how a person identifies oneself.
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