Improvising in old age
April 22, 2021 at 11:00:00 AM
Shoshi Keisari and Rinat Feniger-Schaal
Ageing is characterized with social losses (spouse, friends and close family) and physical and cognitive loses, some of which are experience as traumatic. Reports from recent months show that the COVID-19 had a major effect the mental health of older adults, and therefore there is an urgent need to invest in intervention for this specific population. In a multidisciplinary study, we examined the effects of dyadic improvisation while playing the mirror game on socio-emotional and cognitive functioning of older adults. Thirty-four older-adults (age: 71-98) in a within-participant study design conducted two movement activities: the Mirror game and - an exercise class. The results show that improvising together during the mirror-game yielded significant positive effects on both cognitive, emotional and social aspects. Our preliminary findings suggest that engaging in a playful-body-encounter may have an immediate impact on mood and some executive functions of older adults, and therefore stress the valuable contribution of such drama-based techniques to the well-being of older-adults.
Rinat Feniger-Schaal, PhD, I am a psychologist and a dramatherapist and the head of drama therapy and psychodrama studies at Haifa University. My dream is to run away with the circus.
Shoshi Keisari, PhD, I am a dramatherapist in public and private practice and a researcher. Gerontology, and helping people at the end of their life are some of my hobbies.