The importance of getting there

25 June 2021 - Published by Walter Wehus
Elderly people need both information and transportation to overcome social isolation and participate in activities. This has been the topic for a series of workshops in Arendal municipality in Norway.

“We wanted to know what the elderly have been missing during the pandemic. What kind of social activities they would like to participate in, and if there is anything stopping them”, says Professor Elin Thygesen at the University of Agder’s Department of health and nursing sciences.

Together with a PhD student and people from Arendal municipality, Thygesen has led a series of four workshops with end-users and the volunteer sector in Arendal.

Two things stood out from the workshops with the elderly: The elderly needed a way to get information about available activities, and they needed transportation to be able to attend.

“After talking to the elderly, we followed up with two workshops for the volunteer sector and for employees and leaders of the municipality”, says Thygesen.

Going forward, Thygesen and her colleagues will work together with the university’s center for co-creation to create some solutions. They already have several ideas.

“There is already a service that connects refugees with volunteer drivers. There is really an untapped potential here for the elderly as well”, Thygesen says when asked for an example.