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Social inclusion and people living in supported accommodation: An opportunity for occupational therapists to encourage engagement

By Rachael McDonald, Sheridan Forster, Jane Tracy and Rachel Carling-Jenkins

Abstract

Introduction: Social inclusion is important for an individual's health, wellbeing and quality of life. People living in supported accommodation are at increased risk of social isolation. A link has been demonstrated between poor social inclusion and depression. To be socially included means to have the resources, opportunities and capabilities needed to learn, work, engage and have a voice. For individual's living in supported accommodation settings, their support workers are essential to the promotion of social inclusion. Yet, consistently staff in supported accommodation have been shown to place greater emphasis on personal care than social inclusion. Aims: To investigate the reported levels of social inclusion of people living in supported accommodation. Method: The McConkey Social Inclusion Questionnaire measures social inclusion using a number of parameters, including social competency, family and friend engagement and access to community setting. Questionnaires were completed by the support workers of 68 people living in supported accommodation. A critical literature review was also performed. Literature was tabulated and critically reviewed. McConkey questionnaire data were summarised using descriptive statistics, and compared to normed data. Results: The majority of residents had family content at least once a month, but 81% of residents had low levels of social inclusion, with over half having no content with friends, and only 16% having neighbours who knew them by name. Nine percent of people had no family contact. Conclusion: Poor levels of social inclusion in people who live in supported accommodation is of concern to occupational therapists, who encourage participation and engagement

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:vtl.cc.swin.edu.au:swin:49308
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