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Older Aboriginal men creating a therapeutic Men's Shed: an exploratory study

Cox, T ORCID: 0000-0002-8430-8322, Hoang, H ORCID: 0000-0001-5116-9947, Barnett, T ORCID: 0000-0002-1376-6414 and Cross, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5526-4650 2019 , 'Older Aboriginal men creating a therapeutic Men's Shed: an exploratory study' , Ageing and Society , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1017/S0144686X18001812.

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Abstract

Men's Sheds are entrenched throughout Australian and international communities due to their popularity in attracting mainly older men to come together and undertake various social and workshop activities. A growing body of research has emerged where men associate regular Shed participation with improved social, emotional and physical wellbeing. However, few studies have examined Aboriginal men's engagement in Men's Sheds. This article reports on a study that investigated how a cohort of older Aboriginal men from one rural Tasmanian community consider the benefits of engaging in their local Shed. A community-based participatory research approach was developed in consultation with Aboriginal community leaders to ensure the study supported the community's expectations. Interview data from ten Aboriginal men combine to represent the Shed environment as an enabling therapeutic landscape, with key themes represented as domains of belonging, hope, mentoring and shared illness experiences. Shed activities were premised on these men co-creating an informal, culturally safe and male-friendly community environment to enjoy the company of other men. The created Shed environment was mutually beneficial as the participants reported improved wellbeing despite living with the effects of declining health and ageing. The findings inform Aboriginal communities and health-care stakeholders to consider the unique role of Men's Sheds for enhancing the health of an ageing male population.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cox, T and Hoang, H and Barnett, T and Cross, M
Keywords: Aboriginal health, Men's Sheds, Therapeutic landscape, Ageing
Journal or Publication Title: Ageing and Society
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press
ISSN: 0144-686X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/S0144686X18001812
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Cambridge University Press

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