EXPLORING THE PERSPECTIVE OF COMMUNITY DWELLING OLDER MALES ENGAGING IN SOCIAL OCCUPATIONS AND THE INFLUENCE ON THEIR WELLBEING
Background: The population of the United Kingdom is an ageing one. People are living longer now than ever before and this has led to challenges and new experiences for both this population and the people who support them. Furthermore, the number of people who are ageing in the community is growing and therefore should be supported here as opposed to putting stressors on institutional or long term care. Men in particular in comparison to their female counterparts find living and socialising in the community more challenging which can lead to an increased feeling of loneliness and social isolation. What and how they spend their free time in social occupations is based upon many factors such as motivation and past experiences which can inform practice such as occupational therapy to provide interventions and guidance to this population. Aim: The research aims to explore the perspective of community dwelling older males of engaging in social occupations and the influence these have on their wellbeing. Methods: Phenomenology, specifically Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was the theoretical orientation used to guide this research with an aim to capture the men’s individual lived experiences. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted and transcribed verbatim upon completion for data analysis. Peer review, member checks, and triangulation were used to further enhance the credibility of the study. Expected Outcomes: It is hoped this research will discover the value and meaning older men associate with engaging in social occupations and how they believe such participation can influence their wellbeing. This in turn will add to the evidence base for occupational therapists working with this population to have an insight into what these men enjoy doing and why they choose to do so.