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Developing a peer support intervention with older war veterans to meet their unmet social support needs

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

As veterans of the Armed Forces age, some find it harder to come to terms with difficult memories associated with service due to cognitive, social, and physical changes. In addition, evidence from clinical practice and academic research indicates that veterans can have difficulty transitioning to civilian life for many years post service. Though some veterans may present with clinical symptoms and may require psychiatric or psychological intervention, this does not characterise the majority who may, nonetheless, live with complex psychological and physical health needs. In addition, the study of transitions in veterans highlights the dynamic relationship between personal and social adjustment and issues relating to overlapping concerns such as identity, meaning, control and, importantly, belonging and connectedness to others. Peer support sees veterans who have come through difficulties supporting other veterans in need through a low intensity support intervention. Peer support for military personnel is relatively new in the UK and mainly for younger veterans and those still serving. This project aims to work with older veterans (those 55 years plus) to create a model of peer support to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of older veterans. It explores current and potential provision in relation to the views and needs of older veterans and other stakeholders through consultation and networking, and, through qualitative methods and a review of relevant literature, establishes and integrates key contextual issues with dimensions and functions of social support in order to inform future provision and practice as the veteran population increases and ages.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2014
EventThe 43rd British Society of Gerontology conference: New understandings of old age and the lifecourse - University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20143 Sep 2014


ConferenceThe 43rd British Society of Gerontology conference: New understandings of old age and the lifecourse
CountryUnited Kingdom

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ID: 2094022