Neighbors Connected; Exploring Recruitment of Dutch Older People for Activities

Jeanette Lezwijn, Lenneke Vaandrager, Annemarie Wagemakers, Maria Koelen, Cees van Woerkum


The recruitment of older people to engage in actions aimed at promoting health is an issue that does not receive much attention within health promotion practice. Many activities for older people are organized; however, less socially active older people do not participate in such activities. The aim of this study is to examine how to successfully recruit less socially active older people to participate in social activities. By means of a short questionnaire completed by 254 participants, and interviews with 12 participants and 9 organizers, we identified four elements that facilitate recruitment of less socially active older people to participate in social activities of the programme Neighbours Connected. These elements are: (i) personal contact with organizers, (ii) social support, (iii) close proximity and easy accessibility, and (iv) an opportunity offered by the activity itself for social interaction and for learning new things. These elements contribute to perceiving activities as comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful. We conclude that the elements that improve recruitment for activities mainly relate to the context in which the activity is organized, rather than to the content of the activity. For future programmes this means that in recruitment, focus should be as much on the context in which an activity takes place as on the content of the activity.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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