Older Adults’ Perspectives on Volunteering in an Activity-Based Social Program for People with Dementia

Academic Article


  • This qualitative study explored older adults’ perspectives on volunteering in an activity-based social program for community-dwelling people with dementia (PwD), called Stepping Stones. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight older adults who had volunteered in the Stepping Stones program. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to support in-depth exploration of interviews. Six main themes emerged, including (1) Meaning of volunteering in the program; (2) Benefits of volunteering in the program on themselves; (3) Enjoyment involving satisfaction and social relationships; (4) We are a team; (5) Emotional closeness and relationship; and (6) Volunteers’ other dementia-related experiences and volunteering experiences. The present study found that volunteering in the Stepping Stones program met older volunteers’ desires of helping PwD and in learning about dementia. This desire might be stronger in older adults who were the relatives or friends of PwD. Volunteering in an activity-based social program for community-dwelling PwD also may provide older adults with opportunities to have meaningful social relationships with others while feeling enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction, and may also help older adults have a more positive outlook on and more tolerance for themselves and others when they or their spouses experience memory changes in their daily lives.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Han A; Brown D; Richardson A
  • Start Page

  • 145
  • End Page

  • 163
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 2