Promoting Personal and Social Recovery in Older Persons with Schizophrenia: The Case of The New Club, a Novel Dutch Facility Offering Social Contact and Activities

  • Paul D. MeestersEmail author
  • Lia van der Ham
  • Marcia Dominicus
  • Max L. Stek
  • Tineke A. Abma
Original Paper


Many older community-living persons with schizophrenia report unmet psychological and social needs. The Amsterdam-based New Club is a novel facility that intends to foster self-reliance and social participation in this group. To explore participants’ and staff perceptions, a naturalistic qualitative study combined participant observation with interviews. The results illustrate how the New Club contributes to the personal and social recovery of its participants. At the personal level, attending the facility, activation and feeling accepted were valued positively. At the social level, engaging with others, experiencing a sense of community, and learning from one another’s social skills were positive contributors. Next, various environmental factors proved important. The New Club demonstrates the feasibility of creating a facility that offers an accepting and non-demanding social environment to older community-living individuals with severe mental illnesses. It may offer a suitable alternative for the more demanding psychotherapeutic interventions offered to younger populations.


Schizophrenia Older Recovery Personal Social Qualitative 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Research and EducationGGZ Friesland Mental Health ServicesLeeuwardenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Athena InstituteVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PsychologyGrip PsychologenAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Old Age PsychiatryGGZ inGeestAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Amsterdam Public Health Research InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of Medical HumanitiesVU University Medical CentreAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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