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Article
Health and function of older persons volunteering for Habitat for Humanity
Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research (2009)
  • Janet W. Brown
  • Linda C. Mefford, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Shu-Li Chen
  • Bonnie Callen
  • Allie Brown
Abstract
The purpose of this mixed method research study was to describe the health and functioning of a group of 40 older persons volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. We used qualitative interviews, participant observation, the updated version of the Short-Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12v2™), and health items on a questionnaire to explore health and functioning of older adult volunteers ages 57 to 88. The older participants were not physically healthier, but were mentally healthier than their community dwelling counterparts. Major health and functioning themes identified were: I'm still healthy; Adjusting to limitations; Everyone contributes; and Working hard. Participants discussed accommodations for age-related changes but performed a wide variety of tasks necessary to build a house. Implications are that older persons can provide valuable services beyond "traditional" volunteering activities and should be recruited and supported in these activities.
Keywords
  • Older Persons,
  • Volunteers,
  • Mixed Method,
  • Habitat for Humanity
Disciplines
Publication Date
May 1, 2009
Citation Information
Brown, J.W., Mefford, L.C., Chen, S.L., Callen, B. & Brown, A. (2009). Health and function of older persons volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 9(3), 15380696.