DLW with Older Adults


seniors-1Sarah Shallwani and Leanne Fernandez

OT Reg. (Ont.), Community and Primary Care

Sarah Shallwani and Leanne Fernandez are occupational therapists who work primarily with older adults within their respective settings.

As occupational therapists who work with older adults to help them with re-engaging in meaningful activities, Leanne and I resonated with the core principles of the Do Live Well framework. This past year, we were both provided with the exciting opportunity to pilot a five-session workshop that was developed by student occupational therapists for the Do Live Well framework. This workshop was targeted for older adults and was conducted in a retirement home in Hamilton, Ontario. The purpose of this workshop was to explore components of the Do Live Well framework and have participants link these components to their daily life. Through group discussions, hands-on activities, and presentations, participants were encouraged to reflect on the activities they currently or used to engage in, and how performance in these activities (or lack thereof) impacts their overall health and wellness.

Over the course of the five sessions, participants were encouraged to identify strategies to help re-engage in activities they once enjoyed doing but were no longer performing due to various reasons (poor physical health, decreased motivation, change in environment, etc.).  Participants worked together in developing goals related to a meaningful activity they wanted to perform, and the progress towards these goals was reviewed as a group at the beginning of subsequent sessions. By the fifth and final session, all participants had accomplished the goals they had set out. Participants noted they had felt empowered and were excited to continue building on the goals they had developed. Overall, the pilot workshop was a great success and a wonderful experience for all!