“I´m the one who has written this”: reciprocity in writing courses for older adults in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose: The aim of this article is to explore, theoretically and empirically, the reciprocity of care afforded by writing courses as community interventions for older adults. Methods: We narratively analyzed 209 excerpts of the anthology “I´m the one who has written this” written by teachers and participants of courses organized by the Church City Mission in Norway. Results: The reciprocity that appeared in the writing courses is grounded in the sense of vulnerability that both teachers and participants embraced, and that is experienced in three main relational movements that these writing courses convey: self-exploration, otherness and togetherness. In addition, the data suggests that these courses promote affective processing and existential meaning-making, motivation, as well as improvements of memory and attention. However, more research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings, and their possible effects in older adults with and without symptoms of dementia. Conclusion: Even though these writing courses for older adults are not explicitly therapeutic, they can have therapeutic effects, given the reciprocity afforded in these cultural community interventions. A theoretical exploration upon reciprocity in eldercare is hereby provided. These findings could shape improvements in aging and health care policies that are person-centered and focus on reciprocity.