We get a number of enquiries from GPs, other medical professionals, social workers and concerned others about the extent to which social isolation effects older men's health and the actual benefits that men get from participating in Men's Sheds. There is ample evidence of both and rather than reproduce it here we have collected some, but by no means all, published articles on both aspects and given the on-line reference so that if you are interested you may see them for yourself.
Since 2011 the number of UK Sheds open has doubled each year and now stands at 334. The average Shed membership is 30, and even at the current growth rate of 18-20 new Sheds per month the number of Sheds would reach 1,000 and the membership 20,000 by mid 2019; this approximates to another 350-400 men a month engaging socially, practically and with their wider community.
If you are interested here are references to articles and academic papers which have examined the issues. There are many more and if you think that you have found an important or particularly valid one please send us the details so that we may add to our own library.
Isolation: the emerging crisis for older men
Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women
Impact of Men’s Sheds on users
Measuring National Well-being – Older people and loneliness, 2013
A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men
Preventing loneliness and social isolation: interventions and outcomes
Preventing loneliness and social isolation among older people
Why does being lonely make you ill?
The “Retired Husband Syndrome” affects the mental health of wives of retired men around the world. The research paper “Pappa Ante Portas: The Retired Husband Syndrome in Japan IZA DP No. 8350 July 2014 Marco Bertoni Giorgio Brunello is heavy going but it details the impact of retired men on their wives health.