The Shared Activities of Older Adults with Dementia and Their Caregivers


  • Judith E. Voelkl


Older Adults, Dementia, Caregivers, Shared Activities, Time Budget Methods


Little is known about the breadth and quality of shared activities among community dwelling older adults with dementia and their caregivers. In order for TR practitioners to respond to the call for the design and implementation of in-home recreation programs for older adults (Lawton, Moss, & Duhamel, 1995; Wilhite, 1992), it is necessary to identify methods to assess and evaluate in-home activity engagement. Therefore, the purpose of this exploratory study was twofold: (1) to pilot the use of time budget methods to measure shared activities and (2) examine the activities engaged in and affect experienced during shared activities. Twelve people (i.e., six dyads, each consisting of an older adult with dementia and his/her primary caregiver) participated in the study and reported on a total of 367 daily activities. Fifty-five percent of daily activities were shared, engaged in jointly by the caregiver and care-receiver. In addition, the levels of happiness of the caregiver and the older adult with dementia were found to significantly vary in relation to the type of shared activity. Implications for program development/evaluation and future research are discussed.





Research Papers