Tools for engaging older men: community men's shed as a means of engaging older men in community activities
Mens sheds are teaching us new ways to successfully engage older men in community activities. This workshop will explore how community mens sheds, which have been increasing in number across Australia in recent years, are positively influencing the health and well being of older men. In this session, three presenters will share what they have learnt from their involvement in mens shed programs and offer different views on the role of mens shed in promoting and maintaining the health of older men. Anthony Brown will present findings of research into retired mens engagement in community activities, including men's sheds. He will explain how the benefits of mens community participation are closely correlated to what is known about the social determinants of health. Anthony will also offer suggestions and conclusions on what older men are looking for as part of their community engagement. Alison Wicks will briefly describe an occupational perspective of health as a means of understanding the impact of the mens shed phenomenon on the health and well being of older men. She will illustrate the benefits of mens sheds for men with chronic health issues with some case studies from the Berry Mens Shed. Dave Fildes will present the results of an evaluation from a Wollongong mens shed, with a particular focus upon (mental) health outcomes. This shed is a partnership between Wollongong Healthy Cities and the Illawarra Mental Health Service and has been particularly successful at engaging men from a multicultural background with chronic mental health conditions. At the conclusion of the presentations, there will be a panel discussion involving the audience and the presenters to tease out some of the issues and ideas that have been raised.