Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

MaryEllen Thompson

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Second Advisor

Renee Causey-Upton

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Third Advisor

Kelly L. Leigers

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on quality of life for clients with dementia and their caregivers by participating in a community program, the Memory Café.

Method: In this qualitative, cross case study, the Marwit Meser Caregiver Grief Inventory (MM-CGI) was given to caregiver. Data collection was done by interviewing the participants; there was a main question with follow- up questions as needed. All the interviews were audiotaped and transcribed followed by primary and secondary coding. Shortlisting of categories resulted in emergence of themes which were common across cases and unique to each case.

Results: Emergent themes common across cases were: couplehood, community awareness and involvement, and role of occupational therapy. There were other themes which were found to be unique to each role of client, caregiver and care-provider (occupational therapist and community outreach coordinator).

Conclusion: Community participation has a direct impact on cognitive functioning and participation in community based programs favorably affects quality of life among clients with dementia and their caregivers. Participants had positive feedback about their involvement in community based program such as Memory Café which is supported strongly by literature.

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