Just in time for Ontario Seniors Month, June marks the official release of the results of an exciting pilot project aimed at enhancing mental well-being among older adults in Ontario. Implemented from January 2014 to March 2015, the Living Life to the Full for Older Adults pilot project was run in partnership with CMHA BC, the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO), York Institute for Health Research, and Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest. Taught by trained facilitators in a group setting, the Living Life to the Full course is designed to help people deal with everyday life challenges using cognitive behaviour therapy concepts and techniques. CMHA branches partnered with older adult community centers to hold 30 courses across the province, reaching a total of 375 older adults. Dr. Nasreen Khatri of Baycrest and Dr. Michaela Hynie of York University led the pilot evaluation.
The study demonstrated that participants’ reported decreased symptoms of anxiety and low mood by taking part in Living Life to the Full. Results also demonstrated an improvement in cognition, quality of life and overall well-being. When asked about important gains, participants expressed an improved capacity to cope with life’s challenges. They experienced a stronger level of social support, held a better view of the future, gained new knowledge and skills, and felt more confident and optimistic. After taking the course with a group of their peers, many participants reported they felt comfort in knowing they were not alone in their struggles. Check out the video below where participants share their experiences taking the course.
With such promising results, it is our hope that more older adults in Ontario and beyond will have an opportunity to benefit from Living Life to the Full.
For a full report of all the results, download the project infographic.
For more information about Living Life to the Full in Ontario, please visit the program webpage.