Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Christine Mayor


This paper explores the concept of client-led play with older adults with dementia and its possible impact on an individual’s ability to express enjoyment and sense of control. Expressive arts therapy is explored as a possible natural vehicle for providing client-led play groups to older adults with dementia. While research is limited regarding client-led play specifically, there has been significant research supporting the use of the creative arts with individuals with dementia, as it provides opportunities for non-verbal expression and spontaneous creativity. This paper argues that the arts have a natural connection to play through the use of the imagination and in-the-moment choice making. The author developed and implemented two play-based interventions with adults with dementia at an assisted living facility in Massachusetts. This paper will discuss the literature that informed the method, what took place during the implementation, and what was learned from observing and experiencing client-led play with adults with dementia.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




The author owns the copyright to this work.