The EMMY Project: Promoting mental wellbeing among the oldest old – The Finnish Case

A4 Conference proceedings


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: A K Forsman, J Nordmyr
Publication year: 2019
Book title: Supplement 12th European Public Health Conference Building bridges for solidarity and public health Marseille, France 20th–23rd November 2019
Volume number: 29


Abstract

Background

The European
Welfare Models and Mental Wellbeing in Final Years of Life (EMMY,
2017-19) project covers interdisciplinary and mixed method studies on
mental wellbeing among the oldest old in Finland, Italy, Norway and
Spain. The overarching aim is to strengthen the understanding of how
welfare models and related policies could be adapted to support mental
wellbeing in the oldest old. Project results will be incorporated in a
new tool for assessing the mental wellbeing impact of welfare policies.

Methods

23
focus group interviews were conducted, including 117 participants aged
80 years or older. Six of these were conducted in Finland (N = 28) and
the data was analysed using qualitative content analysis. In a policy
analysis, relevant national legislation, plans and programmes were
identified from the four countries. Five key stakeholders in each
country validated the identified policies in interviews. The policy
items were systematically coded (N = 42 in Finland), focusing on their
correspondence with older adults’ own views on their mental wellbeing
and its protective factors.

Results

The
findings highlight that although functional status undeniably plays an
important role for experienced wellbeing in general, it is not the
principal component of the experienced mental wellbeing among the
oldest-old. The Finnish policy case pinpoints both promising policy
examples, but also development needs such as the inclusion of issues
related to e.g. digitalization and social challenges including
loneliness.

Conclusions

These
findings have significant multi-level implications, showcasing the
importance of coordinated actions at societal and individual levels
alike. Actions to enhance social participation, especially for
individuals with reduced social networks are needed, as well as a more
holistic approach in general considering the multi-dimensional nature of
experienced mental wellbeing in later life.

Key messages
  • Results
    support the exchange of good policies between EU Member States to
    incorporate a change of focus from mental disorders to mental wellbeing
    among older people and its protective factors.

  • Country-specific
    case studies highlight the relevance of context,pinpointing the various
    pathways to increased mental wellbeing that could be translated into
    policy.


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Last updated on 2020-21-02 at 04:24