Benefits and impacts of Active Lives groups for older people living in the community

Amelia Bell, Rob Gandy, Brenda Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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There are an increasing number of older people globally and nationally. However this rise in life expectancy is not always paralleled with a good quality of life. Within the north west of England Age UK Lancashire was awarded three-year funding by the Big Lottery to undertake an Active Lives programme. This programme delivered a range of local activity groups aimed at promoting the health, activity, lifestyle and wellbeing of older people living within the community. This paper reports the findings of a three-year descriptive study which evaluated older people’s experiences of participating in the activity groups. The study identified the impact on their health, quality of life and wellbeing, use and benefits of the groups and suggestions for future service developments. Data were collected in three phases utilising focus groups and self-completed questionnaire surveys. Qualitative data were analysed by content analysis to identify key themes. Standard descriptive analysis was used for quantitative data. Key findings were benefits with general improvements in participants’ physical and mental health, their wellbeing and quality of life. It was concluded that Active Lives groups in the community presented an effective means of maintaining and improving older people’s health and social wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-112
JournalResearch, Policy and Planning: The Journal of the Social Services Research Group
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2017


  • Quality of life
  • active ageing
  • older people
  • health and social wellbeing


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