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Transitions in Aging

Promoting Community Participation

Example: Community Events

  • Running food drives for homeless shelters
    • Individuals with developmental disabilities could work with other members to package food to be distributed in the community
    • Food could be grown and prepared at the facility

NEXT: Community Events (Cont.)

Notes and References

Let's review how we can help older adults with developmental disabilities be active participants in the community.

Postretirement, we could engage individuals with developmental disabilities to volunteer for community activities, such as food drives for homeless shelters. Depending on one's functional abilities and interests, s/he could be the person preparing or packing the food. We can even engage individuals in horticultural activities, like growing the vegetables, used in food drives. This type of activity allows individuals with developmental disabilities to work with others on the same mission at the same location. They have opportunities to get to know other people and to develop friendships by taking part in the activity. Additionally, a sense of achievement can be fostered through being an active contributor to their community.1


  1. Stancliffe, R. J., Bigby, C., Balandin, S., Wilson, N. J., & Craig, D. (2015). Transition to retirement and participation in mainstream community groups using active mentoring: A feasibility and outcomes evaluation with a matched comparison group. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 59(8), 703-718.