This study explores the impact of active engagement in family reminiscence theatre on older adults in care with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Reminiscence theatre is performance created from the essence of real life stories and memories of older adults. This family reminiscence theatre initiative will develop, implement and document the process of creating theatre performance from older adults’ and family participants’ memories and stories. Individual reminiscence/life history interviews will be conducted with the older adult participants, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and reviewed with participants for story selection and consent, to select content for play devising. A core company of reminiscence theatre artists will collaboratively devise a reminiscence theatre performance from these stories and through group drama workshops with the older adult and family participants. Purpose: The objectives are to provide a context wherein older adults in care and adult family members engage in a novel arts/reminiscence theatre initiative to reflect on lived experiences, share memories, build relationships, increase social activity, and reframe perceptions of health and well-being. The aims of the proposed research are to advance arts in health initiatives for older adults in facility care, and specifically explore family reminiscence theatre as an initiative to address the need for innovative, sustainable, dementia-specific programming which has the potential to enhance quality-of-life. The primary objective is to explore if and how family reminiscence theatre engagement enhances quality of life for older adults in care with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Participants: The target populations of interest in this study are the older adult residents in care at the facility and family participants. Outcomes: Outcome measures are primarily qualitative as this study is essentially an interpretive inquiry. Ongoing ethnodrama field notes will provide data from the principal investigator’s reflections throughout the study. There will also be surveys and questionnaires employed.
Framework/Philosophy: The percentage of the Canadian population at least age 65 has been progressively increasing (Denton & Spencer, 2010), with the current demographic transition viewed as a period of accelerated population aging (Canadian Institute of Health Information, 2013). Older adults are living longer, healthy, active lives in the general community (Chappell & Hollander, 2013). The literature on social determinants of health identifies 14 factors linked to health and well-being (Mikkonen & Raphael, 2010). With regard to older adults, self-perceived health and psychosocial determinants are central to their quality-of-life (Lundberg & Manderbacka, 1996). Older adults in care are increasingly dealing with complex, chronic health conditions many of which include various forms of cognitive impairment including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (CIHI, 2011, 2013). The literature calls for innovative, sustainable initiatives to address these needs (e.g., Grone & Garcia-Barbero, 2001).
Time: January 2015 – June 2015
Resources Available: A comprehensive literature review on global arts in health initiatives in general; reminiscence and life review; reminiscence theatre; arts applications in dementia care; referenced lists. At the completion of this study, a user-friendly manual for reminiscence theatre in residential settings for older adults and families will be constructed.
Art Modalities: Digital Electronic, Film/Video, Multimedia, Drama/Theatre, Music, Singing, Storytelling/Poetry, Mixed Media,
University Of Victoria
Social Dimensions of Health Program, Applied Theatre Consulting Services
Initiative Contact: Trudy Pauluth-Penner, Ph.D. Candidate
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 250-385-7260