Older Adulthood: Psychosocial Issues and Therapeutic Recreation

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
THRT 2308
Older Adulthood: Psychosocial Issues and Therapeutic Recreation
Therapeutic Recreation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging from 10 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Contact Hours

Lecture: 4 hours/week


Hybrid: 2 hours/week in class and 2 hours/week online


Fully online

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Group work
  • Student presentations
  • Community experiences
Course Description
This course examines the impact psychosocial impairments and loss of cognitive function has on quality of life and independence in older adulthood. Dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s Disease, and changes in social structure and supports are addressed in depth. The impact of economic structure, social structures, and societal attitudes, including ageism, on the life of older adults is examined. Innovative therapeutic recreation interventions, current models, and resources for older adults with dementia are explored.
Course Content

Course content will be guided by research, empirical knowledge, and best practice. The following values and principles, consistent with professional standards, will inform course content.

  • Seventeen percent of Canada’s population are older adults. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada (2016), by 2031 an expected 937,000 Canadians will be living with Dementia. Increasing understanding of this growing population is supported by the fact that the total number of new cases of dementia each year worldwide is nearly 9.9 million, implying 1 case every three seconds (World Health Organization, 2019) 
  • Increasing knowledge and understanding of ageism builds the competence of TR practitioners to be able to advocate for older adults 
  • Increasing knowledge of dementia and supportive practices to respond to BPSD (behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia) empowers TR Practitioners to provide suitable interventions and programs that address unmet needs 
  • Building awareness of the continuum of care, from community independence to long term care, broadens the TR Practitioner’s perspective to determine strengths, limitations, and needs of the individual to establish appropriate resources or program placements 
  • The TR Practitioner promotes quality of life by establishing clear understanding of person-centered care, adapting the environment, applying suitable strategies for motivating clients, and supporting behaviour (unmet needs) 
  • The TR Practitioner provides effective communication strategies and builds relationships by developing insight into end-of-life issues, stages of grief or dying, and the palliative approach to care 
  • Gaining insight into multicultural, familial, and societal perspectives on aging increases knowledge of the impact of family roles, social supports, and the environment.  


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss characteristics of the older adult population in Canada and analyze the impact of aging.  
  2. Define ageism and its impact on the aging population. 

  3. Explain Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) and BPSD (Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia), as well as identify their impact on the individual with considerations of family, independence, and environment.  

  4. Identify aspects of end-of-life care and explain the palliative approach to care as experienced by older adults.  

  5. Identify and adapt therapeutic recreation interventions to enhance engagement and the quality of life of individuals with dementia.

  6. Discuss the continuum of care, care approaches and models, and how each may promote quality of life, person-centered care, and independence while reducing social isolation. 

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to the Douglas College Evaluation Policy.

An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.  Typical means of evaluation will include a combination of written assignments, presentations and testing.

This is a graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.

Resources include:

  • selected readings from a variety of therapeutic recreation practice text books
  • selected audio-visual and computer resources
  • selected readings from books and journals
Which Prerequisite