Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Sociology

Journal Title

Journal of Applied Gerontology

Pub Date

2014

Publisher

33

Issue

7

First Page

888

Abstract

As the U.S. population ages, interventions are needed to ensure quality of life continues as boomers enter assisted and independent living communities (AICs). These transitions can significantly affect quality of life. Activity and continuity theories maintain that participation in discretionary/informal activities is crucial for psychosocial health and well-being (aspects of quality of life). This study evaluates the impacts of participation in discretionary activities on life satisfaction, social isolation, and loneliness, using data from a longitudinal study of older adults in AICs. Older adults who participated in 8 weeks of discretionary activities reported greater life satisfaction and lower levels of social isolation compared with non-participants. Forming alliances and group identities is the key for building new relationships and maintaining relationships in the community. Determining the impact participation in activities has on residents is vital to being able to help develop a more comprehensive understanding of how quality of life can be maintained in AICs.

DOI

10.1177/0733464814537701

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