Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
The COVID-19 pandemic calls for new solutions in promoting increased health, wellness, and self-care in older adults experiencing mental health effects during and after a pandemic. As the virus began to spread in the United States in early 2020, social distancing measures were implemented to reduce the spread of the virus. During this time of uncertainty, assisted living facilities (ALF) put a halt to all program activities, mealtimes in the communal dining area, and any other activities or events that were face-to-face. Along with activity programming, most facilities restricted visitors from entering the building including residents’ loved ones. These factors led to extreme isolation resulting in other detrimental health effects on this population. An extensive literature review was conducted to identify problematic areas impacting occupational performance. The person-environment-occupation model (Law et al., 1996) provided a framework for developing questions that correspond with the different components and their transactions. Based on the results from the literature, the needs were confirmed through informal interviews with residents residing in an ALF. A product was then developed to provide occupation-based and client-centered interventions for residents living in an ALF during and after a pandemic. The author utilized the eight dimensions of wellness (SAMHSA, 2016) as a framework for the program sessions as all areas are inter-connected contributing to quality of life and wellbeing. This provided a holistic approach to wellness in addressing many of the unique needs older adults identified during times of a pandemic. The product includes a guide for the application of the PEO model, an overview of the intervention protocols, twenty-five intervention strategies within the eight dimensions of wellness, additional suggested intervention
strategies for the occupational therapist, and outcome measures. There are two to four interventions addressed in each dimension of wellness. The dimensions include physical, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, social, and spiritual wellness. It is anticipated that after completion of the program, older adults will improve occupational performance in health, wellness, and self-care, presumably leading to improved quality of life. This product addresses mental health concerns, promotes active engagement in healthy living, and allows aging in place for older adults.
Blom, Hayley, "Increasing Health, Wellness, and Self-Care in Older Adults Experiencing Mental Health Effects During and After a Pandemic" (2022). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 495.