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FarmElder – Social Farming for the Elderly

Duration: 30 Months

TUS Project Budget: €55,177.00

Total Project Budget: €350,969.00

Project Number: 2021-1-IE01-KA220-ADU-000033663


Social farming is defined by Di Iacovo and O’Connor, 2009 as ‘short or long-term activities that use agricultural resources such as animals and plants to promote and generate social services in rural areas. Examples of these services include rehabilitation, therapy, sheltered employment, life-long education and other activities that contribute to social inclusion.’ From our collective involvement in social farming we have identified an opportunity to marry the benefits of social farming with the needs of elderly people.

The FarmElder project aims to offer farmers the opportunity to engage in social farming. For farmers already engaged in social farming, FarmElder will provide them with training on how to work with elderly people. It will help them team up with new service providers and advocates and grow the profile of their work.

Project Objectives

By implementing this project, we seek to Identify and increase awareness of:

  1. the needs of elderly people in our partner countries and throughout Europe
  2. highlight the benefits of social farming
  3. demonstrate the effectiveness of social farming as a form of therapy and meaningful activity for elderly people
  4. Create an adult education training course in social farming for the elderly
  5. Provide farmers, service providers, health care providers and other stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to engage in social farming
  6. Encourage the take-up of social farming by farmers in our partner countries and throughout the EU
  7. Highlight the importance of social farming to policy makers and relevant representative organisations
  8. Improve the capacity of educational organisations to deliver training on social farming and social farming for elderly people
  9. Increase the capacity of the project partnership, collectively and individually to be effective advocates for social farming and social farming for elderly people 10) Increase the number of farms offering social farming for elderly people.

Project Outputs

The project will have the following Results:

  • 4 country reports and one European report on the Status of and Opportunities for Elderly Care
  • 14 case studies describing the experiences of participants, farmers and service providers involved in social farming projects for the elderly.
  • A 3 Unit, six module training course on the process of social farming for the elderly
  • Digital stories captured on videos that highlight the most inspirational aspects of social farming
  • A project website and training platform which will be used to provide open access to the projects written materials, training course and videos.

Other outcomes:

  • We expect the projects results to have a significant impact within the farming community. Especially with farmers on more marginal holdings as it provides them with opportunities to increase their viability.
  • We expect it also to encourage service providers and associations who care for the elderly to examine their activities and explore the potential of using social farming therapies for their clients.
  • We expect that it will inform policy makers at local, national and regional levels of the potential of social farming in general and more specifically as a meaningful activity/therapy for elderly people.
  • The project will draw attention to the needs of the elderly. The coming decades will see these needs become more central to policy planning. This project, coming at the start of the UN decade for the elderly, will highlight the importance of considering the needs of this very important and valuable segment of society

Contact Details

Elaine Cleary


Project Page