Praising ordinary lives : creativity and quality of life for Australian Elders

  • Pauline Griffiths

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    In contemporary Australian society Elders who live at home or in aged care residences are largely unnoticed, and their living contexts under-theorised. While it is true that aged care studies are increasingly pursued at universities, and the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has put the spotlight on the sector, there is still a lot to learn about how people in the last decades of their lives spend their waking hours.
    This study uses grounded theory, operating within a practice-based framework, and draws on aspects of narratology and hermeneutics to contribute to cultural gerontology. In a field study comprising three experiments, in Canberra and Melbourne, the thesis asks: What role can personal creative practice play in the lives of Elders? What does creative engagement look like for Elders in aged care residences and people who live with dementia? How can creative care improve the quality of life for Elders in their final years?
    The thesis is located within contemporary positive ageing movements: examining definitions and understandings of ‘creative care’ for application in aged care settings in Australia; showing how creative care contributes to a philosophy of creative ageing that can improve care practices for Elders; and providing a range of meaningful word-based socially constructed activities in the form of a practitioner’s tool kit to cultivate the basic conditions for creative care. In this way the thesis presents a set of practical social vehicles with which aged care workers can deliver the quality, dignity and choice that is part of the human rights specifically afforded to Elders.
    Date of Award2022
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJen Webb (Supervisor), Jordan Williams (Supervisor) & Cathy Hope (Supervisor)

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