Strategies older New Zealanders use to participate in day-to-day occupations
Hocking, CS; Murphy, J; Reed, K
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Aim: This exploratory study aimed to uncover the strategies that older adults employ to ameliorate the impact of impairments and barriers to participation. Method: Eight participants were interviewed in their own homes, in a town or city in New Zealand. Findings: Inductive analysis of data revealed four main categories of strategies: strategies to keep safe, to recruit and accept help, to meet social and biological needs (nutritional and medical), and to conserve financial, material and bodily resources. Discussion: The study supports some previous findings of strategies used by older people, and demonstrates that enquiring into the strategies that older people devise and adopt into their own lives is a productive line of inquiry. The strategies described differ from those that occupational therapists recommend, and do not incorporate public health messages about the benefits of physical activity or recommendations about falls prevention. Conclusion: The findings suggest that asking older clients about the strategies that they use will uncover valuable information for therapists giving advice or issuing equipment to help older adults to manage in the community.