Poetry Therapy with Frail Elderly in a Nursing Home


This study examined the relative efficacy of a poetry group which encouraged the expression of memories and imagination among frail elderly residents of a nursing home over a period of nine months. A sample of six elder adults (mean age 86.67, range 77 to 95) attended a minimum of 10 out of 28 sessions of the poetry group. There was an average of four people per group per session. The results indicated that the medium of oral poetry composition facilitated the formation of peer friendship among frail institutionalized elderly, increased their expression of affect, impacted upon staff treatment of residents, and resulted in the publication of an anthology. Implications for poetry groups involving frail elderly nursing home residents are discussed.

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  1. Koch. K. (1977). I never told anybody: Teaching poetry writing in a nursing home. New York: Random House

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Correspondence to Sue Silvermarie M.S.W..

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Silvermarie, S. Poetry Therapy with Frail Elderly in a Nursing Home. J Poetry Ther 2, 72–83 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03391322

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