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Transitions in Aging

Promoting Community Participation

Plan Comprehensive Programs

Photo of people serving food

  • Enriching relationships
  • Leisure activities
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Paid jobs

NEXT: Elements of a Comprehensive Program

Notes and References

We include a YouTube video to show you some challenges that individuals with developmental disabilities may face through their aging process. Please click the following link to watch the video:

In this short video, individuals with developmental disabilities shared that they enjoy participating in leisure activities with others, doing things in the community, and having a paid job if possible.

Considering the possible changes to the environment during this time in someone's life, how can we assist these individuals to become an active member of their new communities? We know that living in the community or physically being in the location, does not necessarily mean that person is an active member. As we discussed in the previous slide, being part of the community takes on other characteristics such as a feeling of belonging and engaging in enriching relationships. Older individuals with developmental disabilities can be active members of their community through leisure activities, volunteer opportunities, and even paid positions.1

Additionally, research has shown that health and wellness are important goals to successful aging for individuals with disabilities.2, 3 With the assistance of health professionals, individuals with developmental disabilities can be better informed of the health and functional challenges and service benefits that lie ahead. Better preparation for the aging process could lead to better outcomes in individuals with developmental disabilities.2


  1. Rossow-Kimball, B. & Goodwin, D. L. (2013). Inclusive leisure experiences of older adults with intellectual disabilities at a senior centre. Leisure Studies, 33(3), 322-338.
  2. Lalante, M. P. (2014). Key goals and indicators for successful aging of adults with early-onset disability. Disability and Health Journal, 7(1), S44-S50.
  3. United States Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. (2005). The Surgeon General's call to action to improve the health and wellness of persons with disabilities. Retrieved from: