Leisure as a resource for successful aging by older adults with chronic health conditions

Susan Hutchinson, Galit Nimrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Drawing on the model of Selective Optimization with Compensation (SOC) (Baltes & Baltes, 1990), the purpose of this article is to examine leisure-related goals of older adults with chronic conditions and the strategies they use to not only successfully manage their chronic health conditions but live well with them. Semi-structured in-person interviews were conducted with 18 community-dwelling older adults (nine males, nine females, ages 58-87 years) with a variety of chronic conditions. Inductive and deductive within and cross-case thematic analyses resulted in descriptions of changes and continuity in participants' leisure participation following the onset of their chronic condition and construction of four themes: drawing on existing resources for continued involvement, setting leisure-based goals, using strategies to get more out of life, and more than managing: living a life of meaning. Implications for promoting successful aging are discussed, specifically the benefits of incorporating information and skill-building to help older adults recognize that leisure can be a resource for healthy aging and self-managing their chronic health condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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