Graduation Date

5-2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D., OTR/L

First Reader

Janice Davis, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract

Social participation is an area of occupation that can increase and enhance an individual’s participation in life. This is particularly true in senior housing communities where common issues of aging and adjustment can be addressed while reducing feelings of social isolation. The purpose of this demonstration project was to provide a venue where older adults living at The Redwoods, a senior housing community in Mill Valley, California, could share and develop meaningful strategies for living, and ultimately foster a sense of connectedness, which would affect quality of life. The project’s goals were to create and implement a series of process groups to benefit the well-being of the residents of The Redwoods, and to produce a resource manual for Dominican University occupational therapy graduate students in co-facilitating the process groups. The project and manual were used as the basis for a Community Practice Lab during which the students were able to gain experience in the psychosocial occupational therapy skills for which they had been trained, while simultaneously providing the residents with an opportunity for social engagement and meaningful activity. Within the scope of occupational therapy practice, therapists can develop and facilitate psychosocial process groups that promote connectedness and well-being among residents of senior housing communities.

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