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Odyssey of the Mind: Increasing Cognitive and Social Participation in Older Adults

1 January 2014


Odyssey of the Mind was originally developed as a creative problem-solving, team-based international program for students in elementary school through college. Teams compete in multiple categories that include building structures with limited materials, performing theatrical adaptations from literary classics and solving hypothetical problems that can be related to real world issues. Teams are then awarded prizes based on creativity, effective use of materials and originality (Creative Competitions, Inc., 2006).

As part of the Innovative Practice Project, we piloted an Odyssey of the Mind program adapted for older adults at a local retirement facility called Cornell Estates. A prior study by Parisi, Greene, Morrow and Stine-Morrow (2007) was used as a foundation when developing the program. These researchers performed a qualitative study where a senior Odyssey of the Mind program was implemented with positive results. The older adults reported satisfaction with the increased opportunities to engage in intellectual stimulating activities and to interact with others (Parisi et al., 2007).


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