Older adults’ active involvement in an undergraduate program in gerontology: Motives and meaning

Marjan Sliepenbeek, Carolien Smits*, Elisabeth J.H. Spelt, Jan S. Jukema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Two Dutch undergraduate programs in applied gerontology have teamed up with older volunteers to educate students in collaborating with older adults in the field of age-friendly service development. The research question of this study was: What are the motives and meanings of the older volunteers concerning their participation in an undergraduate program? An explorative descriptive qualitative design was used to study the motives and meanings of the older volunteers through semi-structured interviews (n = 11) and a focus group interview (n = 4). Two themes and nine categories emerged: (1) Personal norms and values (categories: responsible life attitude, contribution, self-determination), (2) Personal gain (categories: intergenerational education, personal development, staying healthy, pleasure, feeling appreciated, feeling connected). Personal norms and values and personal gains are meaningful to older volunteers in applied gerontology education. Universities should respect these when designing measures for improving participation methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-527
JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
Volume42
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • cocreation
  • Gerontological competences
  • older adults
  • undergraduate education
  • volunteers

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