Venieca Kusek

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Kathy Lee


Abstract Objectives: The objective of this research was to pilot Feathered Friends, a multi-sensory based bird intervention program and examine perceived benefits of the program among older adults at an assisted living facility. Feathered Friends adapted from Bird tales was a program for engaging people with cognitive impairments through the natural world of birds. The intervention was intended to increase social participation in a learning environment while reaping the emotional benefits of exposure to nature, specifically birds. Methods: This was an exploratory research project. We conducted individual, in-person interviews with the participants and analyzed data using a thematic analysis to discover perceived benefits by identifying codes and themes. In addition, findings from the interviews were complemented with observation notes. Findings: Three themes emerged for perceived benefits of the Feathered Friends program from the interviews with the participants: (1) positive memories, (2) meaningfulness of birds, and (3) social stimulation and interaction. Additionally, three themes surfaced from observation notes. These themes complemented the perceived benefits of the program achieved by the participants: (1) positive behavioral change, (2) positive mood, and (3) active participation. Discussion: Older adults who reside in assisted living facilities benefit from social interaction and programs tailored to meet their needs. Using nature in program interventions has shown to enhanced health and well-being of the participants. The program, Feathered Friends adapted from Bird Tales has potential connect institutionalized older adults, particularly older adults with cognitive impairments to the world of social interaction and nature. Keywords: Older Adults; Assisted Living; Intervention, Programs; Activity, Social Isolation


Older adults, Assisted living, Intervention, Programs, Activites, Social Isolation


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


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


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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