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ERIC Number: EJ811973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0714-9808
Volunteers' Experiences Visiting the Cognitively Impaired in Nursing Homes: A Friendly Visiting Program
Damianakis, Thecla
Canadian Journal on Aging, v26 n4 p343-356 Win 2007
Two challenges facing nursing-home care today are understanding the concept of "quality of life" as it relates to cognitively impaired residents and finding effective ways to ensure that it is achieved. Canadian director Allan King's documentary, "Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company," filmed at Baycrest, captures a method for enhancing the quality of life of six cognitively impaired residents. While the film suggests an intervention model implemented by volunteers, there are challenges unique to institution-based programs (i.e., the recruitment and retention of volunteers). One of the challenges is the fear that volunteers may experience when interacting with the cognitively impaired. We conducted a pilot study of a model for training volunteers to provide "friendly visiting" and evaluated the impact on the participating residents. Observational accounts of volunteer-resident interactions and seven volunteer interviews were analysed and yielded several themes--(a) relationship building, (b) contribution of the environment, (c) preserving personhood, (d) resident-centred presence and the quality of the moment--and several themes related to the volunteers' role and their perceived impact on the residents. Discussed are the implications for volunteer programs in long-term health care settings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)