Title

Occupations for Successful Aging: Creativing "UCHI"

Start Time

28-10-2005 10:35 AM

End Time

28-10-2005 12:15 PM

Abstract

This paper is part of a larger ethnographic study which examines what OT can do to promote successful aging. It used participant observation and open ended interviews of “Hana”, one old Japanese woman with stroke and the people surrounding her, including her occupational therapist. The goal was to analyze their lived experiences and the therapeutic experience in an attempt to establish theory about the roles of occupation and occupational therapists in life crises of old age.

This paper presents the emergence of a culturally accepted place (uchi) which promoted Hana’s transition from a life crisis to more successful aging. The Japanese word “uchi” is translated as “inside” in English but it indicates not only location but includes social and psychological connotations. Uchi means a cultural place to which persons belong and in which they work together, which provides them a sense of security and responsibility such as home, school, club or company. The members of an uchi share values or beliefs and feel close and familiar each other (Odawara, 2005). The opposite of uchi is “soto”, or “outside”. Soto represents a liminal existence like that of Hana when in life crisis following her stroke.

In this case study, the emergence of uchi in OT promoted Hana’s returning to positive relationship with people around her and thus well-being. The therapist initiated making uchi by approaching her, recreating Hana’s image as an occupational being by inviting her to participate in traditional craft making, a craft representing both Hana’s personal and cultural values. Hana responded to the invitation by trusting the therapist, participating in making the craft together and playing roles appropriate to establish and to develop the uchi. Protected by uchi, Hana engaged in her culturally significant craft making (using the changed body by stroke), explored the unfamiliar environment around her and looked toward her future. People became interwoven in her life by sharing participation in the uchi and Hana anchored her selfhood in the uchi they developed together. Therapeutic use of culturally accepted occupation promoted successfully response to disability and aging.

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Oct 28th, 10:35 AM Oct 28th, 12:15 PM

Occupations for Successful Aging: Creativing "UCHI"

This paper is part of a larger ethnographic study which examines what OT can do to promote successful aging. It used participant observation and open ended interviews of “Hana”, one old Japanese woman with stroke and the people surrounding her, including her occupational therapist. The goal was to analyze their lived experiences and the therapeutic experience in an attempt to establish theory about the roles of occupation and occupational therapists in life crises of old age.

This paper presents the emergence of a culturally accepted place (uchi) which promoted Hana’s transition from a life crisis to more successful aging. The Japanese word “uchi” is translated as “inside” in English but it indicates not only location but includes social and psychological connotations. Uchi means a cultural place to which persons belong and in which they work together, which provides them a sense of security and responsibility such as home, school, club or company. The members of an uchi share values or beliefs and feel close and familiar each other (Odawara, 2005). The opposite of uchi is “soto”, or “outside”. Soto represents a liminal existence like that of Hana when in life crisis following her stroke.

In this case study, the emergence of uchi in OT promoted Hana’s returning to positive relationship with people around her and thus well-being. The therapist initiated making uchi by approaching her, recreating Hana’s image as an occupational being by inviting her to participate in traditional craft making, a craft representing both Hana’s personal and cultural values. Hana responded to the invitation by trusting the therapist, participating in making the craft together and playing roles appropriate to establish and to develop the uchi. Protected by uchi, Hana engaged in her culturally significant craft making (using the changed body by stroke), explored the unfamiliar environment around her and looked toward her future. People became interwoven in her life by sharing participation in the uchi and Hana anchored her selfhood in the uchi they developed together. Therapeutic use of culturally accepted occupation promoted successfully response to disability and aging.