Circles of Joy

Project Brief

Circles of joy is a new WAFERs initiative. As the name implies, the project aims to empower older adults in West African communities to lead a healthier, joyful and more fulfilled lives in later life.

Africa like many other developed high income countries is experiencing a shift in population demographics. According to WHO, the population of elderly people in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to reach 67 million by 2025 and 163 million by 2050. In addition, many older adults live with multiple long term conditions (noncommunicable diseases) including heart disease, joint pain and diabetes casing significant morbidity and mortality. Socio-economic status and health literacy has been reported to be strong contributory factors to morbidity progression and avoidable deaths among older adults. In addition to health challenges, later-life loneliness due to limb joint ill-health, widowhood, socio-demographic changes, and gradual weakening of extended family as a source of support in old age is of concern adding to low quality of life and frustrations in later life.

Circles of joy project through it’s diverse activities aims to create age-friendly community centres to encourage old age social interactions to combat loneliness, community support networks for encouraging healthy lifestyle habits (exercise and nutrition), and explore innovative ways by which older adults can also “give back” to their community fostering a sense of fulfilment and also relieving pressure on already over-burdened health-care system. The ideal is that no older adults who attend any one circles of joy support networks will feel isolated. They will be encircled in love and meaningful joy filled activities with their peers and will always have a sense of belonging in that circle. Examples of circles of joy activities include (not limited):

  •  Evidence-based self-management support circles (for joint pain)
  • Healthy nutrition circles
  • Exercise and physical activity circles
  •  Healthy relationships circles (workshops)
  • Music Circles
  • Craft Circles
  • Book Circles
  • Trade Circles
  • Story Circle(Cultural Education)

circles will form part of our “giving back” ideals which may involve mentoring/advice sessions for younger people (youths in partnership with schools/trade institutions/businesses) within the community. Our evidence-based services will meet older adult population health needs and empower them to lead better, more fulfilling lives in their later life. Circles of joy will serve as a beacon of hope, making a significant difference in the lives of countless “senior
friends” (older adults) in Nigeria and West-Africa.

Circles of joy is sponsored by The West African Institute For Applied Health Research (WAFERs) & New Covenant Ibadan.

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