Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Art Therapy with Older Adults: Adaptive Tools and Adaptations in Times of Transition
by Smith, Emily, M.A., Hofstra University, 2017, 172; 10746165
Abstract (Summary)

With limitations brought about by physical and cognitive decline in older adults, many of them struggle with a loss of independence in performing daily tasks and in decision-making when transitioning into a nursing home or assisted living facility. With the older adult population growing rapidly, healthcare systems must stress the importance of increasing the population's quality of life through treating the whole person. Little research has been conducted on the effects of adaptive tools and adaptations in art therapy on mood and control as a sense of autonomy. This art-based phenomenological research explored the benefits of using adaptive tools and other adaptations in art therapy with 4 older adults, who experienced various transitions while living in a rehabilitation and healthcare facility. This study analyzed participants' artwork and art making experience during a single one-on-one, semi-structured session. The researcher analyzed her own journal entries and artwork created in response to each session. Adaptations and adaptive tools were gradually introduced as requested by the participant or when deemed necessary by the researcher. Participants were asked to reflect about their artworks and art making process. This study qualitatively depicted the value of responsive rather than anticipatory adaptations toward increased self-expression and self-awareness in this population, as well as support of their need to reclaim physical, cognitive, and emotional control as autonomy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Netzer, Dorit
School: Hofstra University
Department: Creative Arts Therapy
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Aging, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adaptations, Aging, Art therapy, Autonomy, Control, Transition
Publication Number: 10746165
ISBN: 978-0-355-67257-2
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