Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Veronica Rowe


Social isolation is a rising health issue among older adults with dementia and maintaining friendships with their peers without dementia. There are several interventions aimed at addressing social participation for older adults with dementia, however limited knowledge on peer-programs. The purpose of this capstone project was to develop and implement peer-programming to improve social connectedness and sense of purpose between older adults with and without dementia within a retirement community. The capstone student developed and implemented a seven-week peer-program which included dementia education and meaningful social activities. Three themes developed from the implementation of the program: Meaningful Moments, Educational Empowerment, and Empowerment in Action. Participation in the peer-program provided opportunities for older adults to reconnect with old friends, develop new friendships, learn more about dementia, and beginning to take action to maintain friendships. The results of the program evaluation suggest that the program met the project goals and had an impact on the social connection between the program participants. The program results also indicated modifications for future programs to include additional dementia education. This capstone project provided insight into peer-programming as an intervention for social isolation among older adults with dementia.

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