Research Shows

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A 60% INCREASE IN PARTICIPATION AMONG THOSE SOCIALLY ISOLATED

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15% REDUCTIONS IN LONELINESS SCORES

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30% REDUCTION IN DEPRESSION SCORES

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“It Makes You Feel Good to Help!”: An Exploratory Study of the Experience of Peer Mentoring in Long-Term Care

Canadian Journal on Aging 2022

Social isolation and loneliness in long-term care settings are a growing concern. Drawing on concepts of social citizenship, a peer mentoring program was developed in which resident mentors and volunteers formed a team, met weekly for training, and paired up to visit isolated residents. This article explores the experiences of the resident mentors. As part of a larger mixed-methods study conducted in 10 sites in Canada, mentors were interviewed (n = 48) and data analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Three inter-related themes were identified: Helping others, helping ourselves described the personal benefits experienced through adopting a helping role; Building a bigger social world encapsulated new connections with those visited, and; Facing challenges, learning together described how mentors dealt with challenges as a team. These findings suggest that a structured approach to mentoring benefits residents and helps them feel confident taking on a role supporting their isolated peers. Read more:

‘It makes life worthwhile!’ Peer mentoring in long-term care—a feasibility study

Journal of Aging & Mental Health 2020

Objectives: Loneliness and depression are of increasing concern in long-term care homes made more urgent by viral outbreak isolation protocols. An innovative program called Java Mentorship was developed that engaged community volunteers and resident volunteers (mentors) as a team. The team met weekly, received education, and provided visits and guidance in pairs to socially disengaged residents (mentees)… Read more

THE IMPACT OF PEER MENTORING ON LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IN LTC

JOURNAL OF APPLIED GERONTOLOGY 2020

Loneliness, depression, and social isolation are common among people living in long-term care homes, despite the activities provided. We examined the impact of a new peer mentoring program called Java Mentorship on mentees’ loneliness, depression, and social engagement, and described their perceptions of the visits. We conducted a mixed-methods approach in 10 homes in Ontario, Canada, and enrolled residents as mentees (n = 74)… Read more

REDUCING LONELINESS AND DEPRESSION: THE POWER OF PEER MENTORING IN LONG-TERM CARE

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION 2020

This study was a collaboration between the University of British Columbia and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and Schlegel Villages examined the impact of the mentoring on the resident mentors in the Java Mentorship program. Among resident mentors, a significant reduction in loneliness scores (p = .014; = .23) and depression scores (p = .048; = .30) were noted along with positive perceptions of the program. One mentor described…Read more

A PILOT STUDY IMPLEMENTING THE JAVA MUSIC CLUB IN RESIDENTIAL CARE: IMPACT ON COGNITION AND PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH

AGING & MENTAL HEALTH 2021

This research was been conducted at the Psychology Department at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The study, published in Aging & Mental Health, investigated the effects of the Java Music Club, an innovative peer support program for senior living, on cognition and psychosocial health among residents using a pre-post mixed-methods approach. Read more

ASSESSING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE JAVA MUSIC CLUB AT RIVERSTONE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

CARLETON UNIVERSITY 2019

This study was conducted at the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. The aim was to assess the psychological and cognitive health benefits of the Java Music Club in 5 Riverstone Retirement Communities in Ottawa, Canada. When compared to a control group, Java Music Club members reported higher levels of happiness throughout the study.  Read more

THE NEED FOR A SOCIAL REVOLUTION IN RESIDENTIAL CARE

JOURNAL OF AGING STUDIES 2015

Loneliness and depression are serious mental health concerns across the spectrum of residential care, from nursing homes to assisted and retirement living. Psychosocial care provided to residents to address these concerns is typically based on a long-standing tradition of ‘light’ social events, such as games, trips, and social gatherings, planned and implemented by staff. Although these activities provide… Read more

THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF MUTUAL SUPPORT GROUPS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

JOURNAL OF APPLIED GERONTOLOGY 2014

The initial research for the Java Music Club program was carried out through the Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. The study was funded in part by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

A mixed methods qualitative process evaluation was used, encompassing focus groups, systematic observation of six resident groups, individual resident interviews (N=65) and staff interviews (N=7)… Read more

RESEARCH – JAVA MEMORY CARE

Following the implementation of the Java Music Club in homes across Canada and the US, repeated requests were made by the staff facilitators for an adaptation of this program for those living with more advanced dementia.

The Java Memory Care program was created by Dr. Kristine Theurer and was in development over a period of two years with input from staff in four long term care homes in British Columbia, Canada. Although there were anecdotal indications of the benefits of the program, more rigorous empirical evidence was needed to produce credible evidence about the outcomes… Read more

HOLIDAY RETIREMENT

Holiday Retirement conducted a mixed methods qualitative evaluation in a pilot examining the impact of Java Music among residents living in 14 Memory Care homes and 7 Continuing Care homes. Residents reported positive benefits with themes generated around increased engagement and friendships, support and empowerment. In their surveys, staff revealed an overall positive experience, that the program was easy to execute, and the training effective and program materials were easy to follow. Results were presented at ALFA 2015 Annual Conference.

NATIONAL CHURCH RESIDENCES

National Church Residences conducted a one-year qualitative evaluation of the Java Music Club in three affordable housing and permanent supportive housing sites using a structured evaluation to explore three perspectives: participant evaluations, structure observations and a staff evaluation. Content analysis revealed that the participants enjoyed the program and felt more socially connected and supported: “[It] fills a part of my day that might otherwise be empty and lonely” and “I feel supported—absolutely. I feel comfortable revealing intimate specific pains and joys.” Results were presented at 2015 LeadingAge Conference in Boston, MA.

SCHLEGEL-UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR AGING

A one-year follow-up study on the Java Music Club was conducted by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging with six care homes as research sites and six as controls. A mixed methods evaluation design was used. InterRAI’s self-reported Quality of Life Survey was used as an outcome measure, with analysis revealing significant changes in participants’ ratings on several items. Downward trends on the Depression Rating Scale were also found. Results were presented at the Canadian Culture Change Conference 2014.

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE

The University of Alaska Anchorage conducted an experimental designed, random assignment, assessment of the participation effects of eight (8) clients for 26, one-hour sessions, in an Adult Day Center using the facilitated Java Music Club group program. Assignment to the control and experimental groups were random and drawn from the 55 clients who participate in the day care program. Mental status, level of depression, quality of life, and caregiver burden were measured prior to and following completion of the study. Quality of life was achieved as measured by a process evaluation. The study participants experienced less cognitive decline and depression when compared to the control group. There was no difference in caregiver burden among both groups. The results of this pilot study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (2014), and demonstrated the value of the Java Music Club Program in providing the participants with the opportunity of sharing their feelings and providing peer support to one another, adding to their quality of life.

A 60% INCREASE IN PARTICIPATION AMONG THOSE SOCIALLY ISOLATED; 15% REDUCTIONS IN LONELINESS SCORES; 30% REDUCTION IN DEPRESSION SCORES

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