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Transitions in Aging

Community Participation

How to Engage in Leisure Activities

Photo of person in wheelchair getting on bus

  • Accept support from others and ask for it when needed
  • Brainstorm with friends and family
  • Explore local community centers
  • Look up transportation services

NEXT: In Conclusion

Notes and References

Participating in day programs can allow us to participate in different activities all day.1

However, if participating in a day program isn't an option, we need to think about how we can continue engaging in activities we like.2 Some things to think about are to accept help from others, don't be nervous to ask for help, brainstorm different activity opportunities with friends and family, explore activities offered at local community or senior centers, and research alternative transportation services. We experience some bodily changes when we get older. For example, it might become more difficult to see patterns when we are crocheting. Or it might be more difficult for us to bend down and garden in our yard. We might be able to adapt to these changes and continue participating in the activities we enjoy by consulting with a recreation therapist or assistive device specialist to learn whether there are any adaptations we can use when doing these activities. We can also talk with our family, friends, or support people to brainstorm new activities. To help with the brainstorming process, go to the "Resources" tab and complete the Leisure Interest Survey. It may help you to identify some new activities. Also, local community centers or senior centers often have information about different recreation activities. For example, the YMCA provides many activities for its members to go to. Several YMCA in Pennsylvania offer different programs for aging adults. Programs through the YMCA are inclusive and can be modified to fit everyone's needs. It is recommended that individuals call their local YMCA to know what programs work best to promote their leisure interests, social benefits and physical health. Membership scholarships are available to all eligible individuals and this information is available on the YMCA website. See the "Resources" tab for more information.

Next, several older adult centers in Philadelphia offer recreation and leisure activities during the week and on the weekend. Scholarships are not available for membership to the older adult centers, however their activities have lower fees, ranging from $6-12/year. These organizations do not have medical staff or extra help to assist their participants during activities. It is suggested that an individual with disability brings a care attendant or family member if additional assistance is needed to participate. See the "Resources" tab for more information.

Finally, transportation can sometimes be an issue. Therefore, it is important to discuss transportation arrangements with our family, friends, or care staff so we can participate in the activities we love!


  1. Ashman, A. F., Suttie, J. N., & Bramley, J. (1995). Employment, retirement, and elderly persons with an intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 39, 107-115.
  2. Boker, S. M. (2013). Selection, optimization, compensation and equilibrium dynamics. GeroPsych, 26(1), 61-73.