Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Susan MacDermott, OTD, OTR/L, Doctoral Coodinator
Erin Schwier, EdD, OTR/L, Program Director
Medical Subject Headings
Social Participation, Aged, Senior Centers, Healthy Aging, Occupational Therapy
With the rise of an aging population, it is important to identify effective practices that fosters social participation in community-dwelling older adults. This aim of this project was to evaluate the need for adapting or enhancing current social programming in order to provide more opportunities for engagement at the San Marcos Senior Activity Center. 22 seniors and staff members, including volunteers, were interviewed on a continuous basis and responses were recorded on audiotapes. Current classes and social behavior at the senior center were also observed using field notes. All audiotapes and observation field notes were then transcribed verbatim and analyzed using open coding. Main themes that were found include: there were multiple barriers to social participation, the need for new activities to increase social participation, the need for task and environmental adaptations, the need for staff-training, and that music was a potential social avenue to increase participation. The results of this project provides promising ideas on how to evolve the San Marcos Senior Activity Center into a more fostering social environment for their seniors.
Dinh, D. (2019). Increasing Social Participation in Senior Center Through Program Development. [Doctoral project, University of St Augustine for Health Sciences]. SOAR @ USA: Student Capstone Projects Collection. https://doi.org/10.46409/sr.THDZ4487