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The Meaning of “Now” Moments of Engagement in Yoga for Persons With Alzheimer’s Disease

Lyn G. Litchke, Jan S. Hodges


 The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the meaning of a multisensory chair yoga program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) living in three assisted living community homes. Twenty-six individuals (ages 69 to 98), 19 females and 7 males, participated in a ten week chair yoga program, twice a week for 30-55 minutes. Narrative progress notes, audio-visual images, and emails with caregiver and family feedback were analyzed by using grounded theory. From the findings a core category, ‘Personalized “Now” Moments of Engagement,’ was generated with three overarching sub-categories: (a) characteristics and stages of AD, (b) multisensory design and yoga class format, and (c) expressing connection through actions. In addition, ‘meaningful discovery by family and caregivers’ noted perception changes about the residents and increasing joy. Study findings tend to support Validation Therapy (VT) concepts. Findings may facilitate a re-evaluation of the current theories and models of treatment for persons with AD and offer recreation therapists a conceptual framework to facilitate engagements with them, their families, and caregivers.


Alzheimer’s disease; multisensory yoga; recreation therapy; caregivers

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