n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Older adults' perceptions and experiences regarding leisure participation and leisure

Volume 21 Number 1.1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


There has been an increase in ageing population resulting in demands for long-term care which include general health care, personal care, and social services, and institutionalized care. Leisure participation has been recommended in all stages of development including older persons as a strong determinant of health, well-being and quality of life. However, little is known about leisure participation amongst older adults in South Africa as an activity which promotes health, well-being and quality life of the elderly while they are under institutionalized and home environments. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of older adults regarding their leisure participation in an old age home. A qualitative design was conducted with seven older persons aged 64 - 84 years in an old aged home were purposively selected for the study. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with the participants, analysed using thematic analysis. The three themes emerged from the study: "Contentment lies with those who are at peace"; waiting to die" and "I would really like to do and learn". This study highlighted that leisure participation provides feeling of enjoyment, pleasure and support among older adults when they participate in leisure activities that give them a sense of belonging. These findings suggest that occupational therapists working in communities need to promote healthy active aging, well-being and quality of life of the elderly in order to exercise their fundamental human right.

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