Vol. 9 No. 11 Juni 2023
Fulbright Brings ScrippsOMA to Indonesia
Christiany Suwartono1 & Elizabeth Lokon2
1Center for the Study of Sustainable Community, Faculty of Psychology,
Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
2Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University, Ohio, United States
Elizabeth "Like" Lokon, MGS, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program. Currently, she is a Fulbright Scholar hosted by Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia in Jakarta. As a gerontologist, her Fulbright placement is split between Atma Jaya’s Center for the Study of Sustainable Community at the Faculty of Psychology and its Medical School. Her goal is to bring the ScrippsOMA program to Indonesia.
Photos by Justin Purnadhi and Dipa Mulya
What is ScrippsOMA?
The mission of the ScrippsOMA program is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art. It pairs people living with dementia one-on-one with student or community volunteers, family caregivers, or healthcare professionals in a small group setting. They meet weekly for 90 minutes for 5-12 weeks. After initial training that develops skills to communicate in sensitive and respectful ways, volunteers support the creative expressions of the older adults living with dementia by relying less on memory and more on imagination and focusing less on lost skills and more on remaining strengths. The volunteers provide guidance during the art-making process but makes no aesthetic decisions for the older adults.
The ScrippsOMA program aims to bring happiness and inspire future initiatives that promote communication between generations. It recognizes the importance of human connections, self-worth, independent decision-making, and mental well-being for individuals of all ages. By engaging in creative arts-based activities, ScrippsOMA seeks to enhance the quality of life for older adults, particularly those living with dementia, and foster a sense of joy through meaningful engagement. By prioritizing the significance of human connections and promoting mental well-being, we hope to contribute to a society that values the dignity and worth of individuals at all stages of life.
ScrippsOMA Facilitator Training at Panti Lansia Santa Anna
On May 26-28, 2023, a ScrippsOMA Facilitator Training was held at Panti Lansia Santa Anna. The goal of the training is to graduate facilitators who are able to conduct the ScrippsOMA program on their own wherever older adults living with dementia can meet regularly with younger adults, i.e., panti lansia /nursing homes, adult day centers, community centers, hospitals, and private homes. The training was attended by members of the Alzheimer’s Indonesia (ALZI), faculty members and students from Atma Jaya’s Faculty of Psychology, faculty members from Atma Jaya’s Medical School, and doctors from Atma Jaya’s clinic. There were 15 participants on the first day of the training, 11 on the second day, and 9 on the last day. There were more attendees on the first day because faculty members who plan to train their own students to become ScrippsOMA volunteers, and not actually conduct the program themselves, are allowed to attend the first day only.
ScrippsOMA Facilitator Training Assessment
To evaluate the effectiveness of this three-day Facilitator Training at Santa Anna, we utilized the pre- and post-test design using the Dementia Attitude Scale (DAS) and the Allophilia Scale to measure changes in attitudes toward people with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) and “liking” of older adults living with dementia. There were 5 participants that filled the pre- and post-surveys. Even though there were no significant differences between the participants’ attitude toward people with ADRD and liking for older adults living with dementia; they experienced notable improvements between the pre-survey of DAS (M = 100.80, SD = 7.79) and Allophilia (M = 81.20, SD = 15.48) compared to the post-survey of DAS (M = 103, SD = 6.44) and Allophilia (M = 88, SD = 10.79).
Both measurements showed there were positive changes among participants who engaged in the three-day facilitator training program. The findings suggests that intergenerational experiences like ScrippsOMA have the potential to enhance participants' attitudes and allophilia toward people living with dementia. With additional exposure beyond the three-day training, it is expected that the changes will be statistically significant as shown in previous assessments of the ScrippsOMA program’s impact in the USA (George et al., 2021; Lokon et al., 2020; Lokon et al., 2017; Lokon et al., 2012).
George, D. R., Lokon, E., Li, Y., & Dellasega, C. (2021). An arts program to improve medical student attitudes toward persons with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(8), E23– E26. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.17338.
Lokon, E., Li, Y. & Kunkel, S. (2020). Increasing college students’ “liking” of older adults with dementia through arts-based service learning experience. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 41(4), 494-507. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2018.1515740
Lokon, E., Li, Y., & Parajuli, J. (2017). Using art in an intergenerational program to improve students’ attitudes toward people with dementia. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education 38(4), pp. 407-424. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2017.1281804.
Lokon, E., Kinney, J. M, & Kunkel, S. (2012). Building Bridges across Age and Cognitive Barriers through Art: College Students’ Reflections on an Intergenerational Program with Elders who Have Dementia. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 10(4), pp. 337-354. DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2012.724318.