30 Pages

Activity, Social Role Retention, and the Multiply Disabled Aged: Strategies for Intervention

A well established tenet in the gerontological literature is that maintaining activity is important to adaptation, life satisfaction, and retention of social roles in the later years (Atchley, 1980; BurrusBammel & Bammel, 1985; Havinghurst, 1963; Havinghurst & Feigenbaum, 1968). And yet, in the face of the all too common physical and cognitive disabilities that occur, the capacity to main-

tain active participation in preferred activities and social roles is compromised (Gordon, Gaitz, & Scott, 1976; Harris & Associates, 1975). One critical question is how best to enable disabled older adults to participate in desired life activities, to maximize their independence, life satisfaction, and quality of life. An equally critical question is how therapeutic regimens whose goal is to assist older adults to restore their lives to fullest use and satisfaction can be adapted to meet the needs of the multiply disabled aged.