Leisure and recreation in the lives of older people

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


Leisure and recreation can be physical, social, cognitive, emotional and/or spiritual in nature. Older adults engage in a wide variety of leisure activities, ranging from traditional/stereotypical activities, such as cards and gardening, to more contemporary activities, such as Masters sport participation. It is the meaning the activity holds for the individual that is important to identity management, not the activity per se. Physically active leisure (a focus of the chapter) can positively impact on wellness and quality of life as we age. However, 'physical activity in whatever form is not a panacea for a trouble-free existence or a guaranteed solution to avoiding the ailments people are more likely to experience in later life' (Grant & Kluge, 2012, p. 130). The environment in which people live and the lifestyle they embrace (primarily through leisure) can impact well-being as much as our physiological condition, but, leisure and recreation participation occurs in the real-world of possibilities and challenges. That is, not everyone has the means, ability and/or desire to remain physically active in their leisure time and this reality must be acknowledged. This chapter highlights the need for creative ways to engage or enable older people in meaningful leisure and recreation. Recently, there has been a shift away from the intervention model to focus more on changing policy and promoting action in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealthy ageing and aged care
EditorsMaree Bernoth, Denise Winkler
Place of PublicationAustralia and New Zealand
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780195597585
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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