A qualitative approach to investigate the perceived benefits of an intergenerational buddy system within a physical activity programme specifically targeted to people with dementia: A proposed study.
Dementia is a worldwide public health concern. Due to the nature of the symptoms, people with dementia often face negative stereotyping and a compromised quality of life. Research suggests that intergenerational programmes have the potential to change societies attitudes towards people with dementia, while posing significant benefits to the people with dementia. The most prevalent risk factor for contracting the condition is age, and physical activity presents a host of benefits for the elderly population. The study intends to investigate the perceived benefits of combining an intergenerational programme with a physical activity programme specifically targeted to people with dementia. The proposed study will use an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of focus groups and semi – structured interviews to understand the perceived benefits from both the people with dementia and a young “buddy” volunteer out with their generation. Participants will be selected from a local physical activity programme for people with dementia. The hypothesis of the proposed study is that the findings will align with previous research highlighting the benefits of intergenerational programmes for both generations, but additional benefits may emerge from the use of a physical activity programme.