Monday, April 27, 2009

What's "meaningful?"

I'm reading a dissertation by Emi Kiyota, and thought this quotation might be helpful for us as we think in the tank.

"Meaningful occupations are conceptualized in occupational science literature as ones 'which enhance individual well-being, help establish and maintain identity, and help connect ones' past, present, and future into a meaningful life.'" (Ikiugu, 2005). (21)

and "A series of studies show that decreased mortality and psychological disability occur when individuals feel a sense of usefulness, purpose, and meaningfulness." 22.

Providing choices gives people control over their environment. Choices that actually determine the shape/outcome of something are crucial to well-being.

I would also encourage us to think "relationally." Transforming activities is about providing choice/meaning for elders, AND it is about providing choice/meaning for their care partners (family, friends, staff). These choices and meaning might be different. But part of transforming activities is community building.

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