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Title: Holistic arts-based mindfulness program with older adults at a slow-paced rehabilitation hospital: deepening skills of working with older adults
Authors: Davies, Brooke
Issue Date: 29-Oct-2022
Abstract: Older adults have historically been excluded from research (Jacelon, 2007). This issue is highly problematic as the current rate of growth for the older adult population is the highest in recorded history (UN, 2022). Older adults have unique experiences with mental and physical health, yet those who work with this population are repeatedly shown in the literature to have inadequate professional training and knowledge of best practices (Buttigieg et al., 2018). Perceptions of older adults from the vantage point of both health care professionals and older adults themselves are immensely impacted by the pervasiveness of ageism, resulting in misinformation, stereotypes, and the implementation of inappropriate interventions. Impacts of ageism can include low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, resulting in lower quality of life. The Holistic Arts-Based Mindfulness Program (HAP) was introduced to older adults at St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre (slow-paced physical rehabilitation hospital) as an anti-ageist, non-pharmacological intervention to positively affect mood and overall sense of wellbeing. HAP proved to be more challenging to implement than anticipated due to scheduling, COVID-19 restrictions, and internalized ageism on the part of patients. The program was adapted to a 1:1 delivery method to address these challenges. The results of this 1:1 delivery had benefits for patients, including the active resistance of the Foucauldian notion (Foucault, 1995) of docile bodies in an institutional setting, thus leading to a more patient-centred approach. HAP allowed space for patients to recognize their strengths and explore their feelings while rehabilitating. Social workers should consider the use of 1:1 arts-based mindfulness interventions when working with patients in a slow-paced physical rehabilitation hospital setting as an integral tool in the healing process.
Appears in Collections:Social Work - Master's Major Papers

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