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Title: The lived experience of engagement in occupations by older people during the first year of widowhood
Author: Hutt Greenyer, Corinne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 8971
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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The world’s population is increasing; whilst this implies improvement in health, for older people itmay also imply more years spent in ill-health. A developing body of literature supports the role that remaining active and engaged in meaningful occupations can play in the maintenance of health and wellbeing at all ages. An understanding of how this can be supported is of importance. Whilst widowhood is a common experience; in older age it may be complicated by challenges resulting from increased age. The focus of this study was the experience of engaging in occupations by older people during the first year after spousal bereavement. A scoping review of the literature indicates the body of literature relating to occupation and bereavement to be small; n relation to older people this largely focuses on the development of skills to manage everyday occupations. This study adopted a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to explore the lived experience for widowed, older people as they re-engaged in occupations and routines during the first year after the death of their spouse. Nineteen older widowed people were recruited with the help of the bereavement support teams at two hospices. The study took a longitudinal approach and participants were interviewed twice. The first interview took place approximately three months after they were widowed; the second at thirteen months. A superordinate theme was identified, recovering occupation; this was underpinned by three sub-themes: retreating to the familiar; taking stock; and revising occupation. The study offers insight into the role played by occupation for the participants; and illustrates the challenges experienced and strategies adopted to facilitate engagement. The role of continuing bonds in this process is illustrated with evidence suggesting a novel form of occupational bond was developed. Implications for policy, health and social care practice; and the occupational therapy profession are considered.
Supervisor: Long-Sutehall, Tracy ; Donovan-Hall, Margaret Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available