Hanging Out focuses on elderly people over 70 that live independently, but face difficulties in activities in daily living because of issues such as deterioration of health or immobility. Some of them suffer from psychiatric problems such as memory loss, depression or anxiety. Also, their social network often diminishes, since their loved ones pass away. However, these elderly people can still function well with a little help from the people that surround them.
The project wants to establish an integrated neighbourhood approach, which is necessary in order to strengthen social relations and to enable early detection of problems. Together with the elderly themselves, Hanging Out examines the needs of the elderly people, in order to provide suitable support in collaboration with the neighbourhood; thus, getting to know and helping each other through 'hanging out'. The project designates important roles for the key figures, the so called 'Spil' (and community worker) and the elderly themselves. Key figures are local inhabitants and entrepreneurs that are in frequent contact with the elderly and other people in the neighbourhood. The 'Spil' supports the neighbourhood, the inhabitants and the key figures, and works in the field of health-care and wellbeing in the neighbourhood. The 'Spil' refers patients to additional professional care and wellbeing services when necessary.
The study has been carried out by Institute of Health Policy and Management of Rotterdam Erasmus University. Research Centre Innovations in Care teaches 'Spils' how to transform themselves from health care and wellbeing professionals to a 'Spil'. Research Centre Innovations in Care also described the competencies and methodology of the project.