Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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Supporting Older Adults' Social Inclusion and Well‐Being in Neighbourhoods: The Social Hub Model

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Abstract:  In recent years, many Finnish cities and municipalities have aspired to develop services that support older adults’ well‐being and social inclusion. This study focuses on the Social Hub model, a local social innovation developed in the city of Tampere. Social hubs operate on a neighbourhood level, providing free‐of‐charge service coordination and counselling, group activities, and meeting places for social gatherings. This study aims to look at whether this kind of local innovation can support older adults’ well‐being and social inclusion. The sociomaterial perspective and multidimensional model of well‐being (the having–doing–loving–being approach) provided theoretical and analytical guidelines to examine older adults’ experiences and perceptions of social hubs. The qualitative interview data was collected among people living in service housing, senior housing, or ordinary housing in the proximity of the social hubs studied. Face‐to‐face and “go‐along” interviews with 19 older adults aged between 57 and 96 were analysed with theory‐driven content analysis. The results showed that the hubs are a valuable local resource for older adults, providing free services, accessible and appealing shared spaces, and activities that promote social well‐being, physical activity, creativity, and autonomy. The hubs serve as important gathering points for older adults in the neighbourhood, fostering community‐building among citizens residing in different types of housing. The results highlight the importance of acknowledging well‐being as a multidimensional phenomenon. The Social Hub model provides one practical tool to support older adults’ well‐being and social inclusion by offering various kinds of resources and social and cultural activities.

Keywords:  aging in community; having–doing–loving–being; HDLB model; older adults; Social Hub model; social inclusion; sociomateriality; suburban neighbourhoods; well‐being services; well‐being


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© Anniriikka Rantala, Outi Valkama, Rita Latikka, Outi Jolanki. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.