Embodied leisure experiences of nature-based activities for people living with dementia

Steven Owen, Stephen J. Page, Katie Ledingham, Stefan Price, Joanne Connell, Linda Clare, Catherine Quinn, C Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: This article adopts an embodiment lens to explore the individual leisure experiences of people living with dementia when engaging in nature-based pursuits. It focuses on how people living with dementia frame their everyday experiences of nature and how these are shaped by any cognitive challenges and or other comorbidities affecting physical health.

Design/methodology/approach: Taking a phenomenological research approach, we interviewed 15 people living with dementia and 15 family carers of people with dementia to explore how people with dementia engage with nature as a subjective leisure experience. We analysed their accounts using reflexive thematic analysis.

Findings: The findings reveal how people living with dementia frame their experiences of nature-based pursuits through three interlinked themes of ‘bodily feelings and emotions’, ‘sense of self and identity’ and ‘connectivity to others’.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to knowledge by examining through the lens of embodiment a neglected and overlooked dimension of everyday leisure: how nature is encountered, negotiated and enjoyed. The paper illustrates how nature and the outdoors may help people living with dementia to continue to enjoy prior leisure pursuits and thus achieve a degree of continuity in their everyday lives
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 May 2024


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