Golf in Society: Golf Clubs as Healthy Ageing/Research Hubs
Transforming golf clubs into research hubs to discover the best golfing interventions to improve health and strength in those that are frail and living with dementia.
About the project
Golf in Society CIC is driving a fast-growing social movement. They are innovatively and dynamically introducing the social/health/wellbeing benefits of golf to our ageing population. Successfully applying Innovate UK funding,they’ve created a network of age friendly golf venues, where families facing later-life challenges come together and enjoy a more active and supported life.
With us, older people with diagnosed health conditions enjoy a renewed sense of purpose, enjoy the beautiful outdoors and meet new people. They discover how their local golf club can become an integral part of a happier, healthier life and their carers enjoy respite and support at the same time.
Beneficiaries co-design services, timetables to suit individuals and carers, and no prior golfing experience is necessary. Golf Clubs are reimagined and repurposed as Healthy Ageing/Research hubs.
To date, 650+ older people and carers have benefitted from Golf in Society’s sessions providing moderate exercise, mental stimulation, socialising and respite/support.
By proving that golf is accessible, enjoyable, inclusive and available to older adults, Golf in Society are breaking down traditional barriers and negative perceptions. This is evidenced by the fact that 50% of their beneficiaries had never played golf before (some had never even visited a golf club) and 70% progress to enjoy weekly golf at their local club.
They will now dedicate two of their golf clubs to be Research Hubs, in order to ultimately become innovation-driven Outpatient Clinics. By expanding this model, they plan to revolutionise how many older people engage and receive OT/PT and related services. To achieve this, they will expand on their work with Innovate UK, the NHS, social enterprises specialising in healthy ageing, and higher education/research partners; to learn from older people living specifically with frailty/dementia. The findings will help develop/improve interventions further.
‘Golf Pathways’ will lead to further innovation and significant scale up. At the start of golf sessions, key/baseline measurements of key health/strength indicators, including bone density, muscle and grip strength, balance and gait will be taken. Subsequent measurements will then help develop evidence of ‘what works’ and demonstrate potential for scaling-up the right/best interventions.
Research into frailty and dementia is hugely important because these are the two main causes of bed-blocking, hospital admissions and re-admissions. Therefore this pilot/project will also bring significant value to the NHS. Addressing the care-crisis of 150,000+ unfilled care vacancies (and 29% staff turnover), costs associated with multiple/separate treatments, and enabling experts to build best practice into broader/legacy NHS/Social care services.