Study of Resourcefulness in Later Life (SoReLL)

Research suggests that resourcefulness is an important coping strategy but that older people and their carers often develop resourcefulness by a process of trial and error. Furthermore, formal services often have a poor understanding of the strengths that older people and their family carers possess and as a consequence the support they are offered frequently does not compliment the efforts of older people themselves, and indeed may be counterproductive by promoting dependency upon services. Building on established models of co-production developed by the applicants together with frail older people and family carers we will use the frailty CARE cohort to take a qualitatively driven approach to understand how these groups develop resourcefulness, and in what ways formal services might foster and complement the process. Taking a temporal model we intend to chart the nature and type of resources that frail older people and family carers develop and draw upon at key points in their frailty trajectory in order to cope with the demands that they face and optimise their quality of life. An explanatory framework will be developed to highlight the processes and mechanisms by which resourcefulness is developed and sustained and how formal services might work more effectively with frail older people and family carers. 

Project Update: We have conducted in-depth interviews with twenty older people and 4 carers. Following the interviews, we held a workshop in May with older people and family carers. At the workshop we discussed our initial findings from the interviews. We also decided on priority areas for further work exploring how service providers can better work with older people who are frail and their family carers to increase their preparedness to deal with key challenges of frailty. We are currently completing our analysis of the interview and workshop data.

Catherine Beaumount has recently completed the Health Education England, Integrated Academic Internship Programme. As part of this, Catherine spent time shadowing clinical academics and researchers between January and May at The Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation , part of the Bradford Institute of Health Research, based at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust. One of the course outputs was to produce a poster for the ‘Let’s Talk Research’ Conference in Manchester on the 15th and 16th September 2016, aimed at early career researchers. Catherine based her poster around The Study of Resourcefulness in Later Life (SoReLL)