Dominican University of California
 

Presentation or Panel Title

Exploring the Experience of Owning a Guide Dog

Location

Guzman 114, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-20-2017 1:20 PM

End Date

4-20-2017 1:35 PM

Department

Occupational Therapy

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore the facilitators and barriers of living and working with a guide dog as experienced by older adults with low vision participating in Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) organization. Low vision is an age-related condition that affects many older adults, which can create challenges in everyday activities and lead them to be more dependent on their caregivers. The increase in dependency may lead to the older adults participating less in meaningful activities. Guide dogs have been shown to be an effective assistive device that can help older adults with low vision navigate throughout their community. Despite vast research conducted on pet therapy and dog companionship, there is limited research on the facilitators and barriers of owning a guide dog among older adults with low vision.

For the study, eight participants will be interviewed using semi-structured questions. Participant’s insight will help in identifying the facilitators and barriers experienced by first-time guide dog users in the older adult population. This insight will then help guide organizations such as GDB to enhance their application process by aiding in possible changes of service delivery, training, and support systems available to better help older adults. The study will also provide insight into how occupational therapists can plan future interventions and improve independence with the low vision, older adult community.

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Apr 20th, 1:20 PM Apr 20th, 1:35 PM

Exploring the Experience of Owning a Guide Dog

Guzman 114, Dominican University of California

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore the facilitators and barriers of living and working with a guide dog as experienced by older adults with low vision participating in Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) organization. Low vision is an age-related condition that affects many older adults, which can create challenges in everyday activities and lead them to be more dependent on their caregivers. The increase in dependency may lead to the older adults participating less in meaningful activities. Guide dogs have been shown to be an effective assistive device that can help older adults with low vision navigate throughout their community. Despite vast research conducted on pet therapy and dog companionship, there is limited research on the facilitators and barriers of owning a guide dog among older adults with low vision.

For the study, eight participants will be interviewed using semi-structured questions. Participant’s insight will help in identifying the facilitators and barriers experienced by first-time guide dog users in the older adult population. This insight will then help guide organizations such as GDB to enhance their application process by aiding in possible changes of service delivery, training, and support systems available to better help older adults. The study will also provide insight into how occupational therapists can plan future interventions and improve independence with the low vision, older adult community.