1st Edition

Play in Healthcare for Adults Using play to promote health and wellbeing across the adult lifespan

Edited By Alison Tonkin, Julia Whitaker Copyright 2016
    318 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    PLAY. We all do it: wordplay, love play, role-play; we play cards, play sport, play the fool, and play around. And that’s just the grown-ups! It features in every aspect of our lives, whether we call it by that or another name. We all do it, but why do we do it? What does it mean to play and what, if any, difference does it make to our lives? Most crucially, and central to the theme of this book, is the question, ‘Does play have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing, and consequently a role in modern healthcare delivery?’

    The contributors to this book provide a comprehensive overview of how play and play-based activities can be used throughout the adult lifespan to promote health and wellbeing within the context of healthcare service delivery for patients, their families and communities, and for the staff involved in their care. Responding to current global health concerns such as obesity, coronary heart disease, dementia and mental health, the book argues that play and playfulness offer a means of protection, promotion and recovery of positive health and wellbeing. The human tendency for play and playfulness as essential to personal growth and development lie at the heart of the discussion.

    This book will be of interest to all those working in health or social care settings, including nursing, social work and allied health students and professionals and those working within the therapeutic disciplines of art therapy, music therapy, and recreation alliances.

    Introduction (Alison Tonkin and Julia Whitaker)

    1. Playing for Health (Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin)

    2. Conceptualizing Play in Healthcare Provision (Alison Tonkin and Julia Whitaker)

    3. Lifespan Development (Alison Tonkin and Julia Whitaker)

    4. Creating and Growing a Family (Julia Whitaker)

    5. The Concept of Health and Wellbeing Across a Lifespan (Rachel Bayliss and Jenni Etchells)

    6. Using Play as a Means to Widen Access to Health and Wellbeing (Julia Whitaker and Claire Weldon)

    7. Lifestyle Trends and Their Impact on Health (Claire Weldon, Denise Baylis and Alison Tonkin)

    8. Playing for Mental Wellness (Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin)

    9. Music as Medicine (Rachel Bayliss)

    10. The Game of Chamber Music in Dementia Music Therapy (Emilie Capulet)

    11. Drama, Dance and Play - Creative Play as Therapy (Leanne Grundy)

    12. Art for Health (Julia Whitaker)

    13. Play and Social Therapy (Eric Fleming)

    14. Playing with Words (Sandie Dinnen and Alison Tonkin) 

    15. Playing with Technology (Debbie Tonkin and Alison Tonkin)

    16. Aspire Leisure Centre – Inspiration through Integration (Claire Weldon)

    17. The Facilitation of Play and Playfulness through Alternative Healthcare provision (Julie Dakin and Alison Tonkin)

    18. Playful Design (Alison Tonkin) 

    19. Playing Together: Festivals and Celebrations (Alison Tonkin and Shereen Jameel)

    20. Playing for Spiritual Health (Catherine Hubbuck)

    21. Using Play for Lifelong Learning (Jeremy Weldon and Claire Weldon)

    22. Playing Politics (Carol Sullivan-Wallace and Alison Tonkin)

    23. Playing for Health, Wealth and Happiness (Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin) 


    Alison Tonkin looks after the Higher Education provision at Stanmore College, which includes two foundation degrees and a BA (Hons) top up, all of which focus on children and young people. With a research background in health promotion for pre-school children, and having worked as both a diagnostic and therapeutic radiographer, the extension of play service provision to cover adult healthcare is a current area of interest, especially as the college offers the FdA in Healthcare Play Specialism.

    Julia Whitaker has worked therapeutically with children and families in both public and private sectors for the past 30 years. Originally trained as a social worker and family therapist, Julia is also a registered Healthcare Play Specialist with wide-ranging clinical and teaching experience in the field. Julia is now interested in exploring ways in which the knowledge and skills associated with healthcare play might be used to benefit patients ‘from the cradle to the grave’.