Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Aaron Bonsall, PhD, OTR/L


Stress, or perceived stress, has the potential to be life-threatening to those that experience it on a regular basis. Community-dwelling older adults may be particularly vulnerable to perceived stress and its effects due to stressors such as negative life events, chronic disease or declining health, loss of loved ones experienced with the aging process, and social isolation. Stress and mental health and well-being are not being adequately addressed in independent and assisted living communities for older adults. An eight-week stress management program focusing on the concepts of resiliency and proactive coping was implemented at a local retirement community. An overall decrease in average total perceived stress level scores were reported post-implementation. A manualized intervention was completed and provided to the community site upon departure. Implications for occupational therapy practice suggests a shift in perception and education about stress to community-dwelling older adults.