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Community Integration for Older Adults with Mental Health Issues: Implications for Therapeutic Recreation

Shannon Hebblethwaite, Alison Pedlar

Abstract


Community reintegration is vital for older adults with mental health issues who have been discharged from hospital. Researchers and practitioners alike, however, lack a thorough understanding of the factors that contribute to the successful and lasting community reintegration for these individuals. The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth analysis of the experience of community reintegration for older adults with mental health issues. Using qualitative methods, interviews were conducted with five older adults who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, had received treatment on an inpatient geriatric psychiatry unit, and had returne to their homes in the community upon discharge from the hospital. Findings suggest that feelings of independence, managing stress, maintaining feelings of self worth, the ability to experience solitude, social support, and a gradual transition home were critical to the experience of community reintegration for these older adults. Implications for future research and practice are identified.

Keywords


Community Integration, Older Adults, Mental Health, Independence, Therapeutic Recreation

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