Older people--Care--United States; Older people--Services for--United States; Older people--Dwellings--United Statesl; Older people--Home care--United States; Older people--Housing--United States


Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals or populations to regain or maintain independence, function, and a fulfilling life; the American Occupational Therapy Association has named productive aging as a key societal need in the 21st century. Many older adults wish to stay in their homes and communities as they age but may face challenges doing so due to agerelated changes. This study, using mixed methods via a quantitative survey and a qualitative interview, attempted to identify the current practices, attitudes, and future desires that may impact occupational engagement, as reported by U.S. community-dwelling adults age 65 and older who were aging in place. The majority of study participants desired to remain in their homes. They reported relatively good health, financial stability, ties to their communities, high engagement in occupation, and plans for the future. The results emphasized that health and wellness, the ability to age in one’s home at a relatively low cost, and planning for the future are crucial elements to be considered for successful aging. Overall, the study reinforced the notion of the power of occupation in the aging population, confirming that engagement in meaningful activities is typically an important component of successful aging.

First Advisor

Tatiana Kaminsky, PhD., OTR/L

Second Advisor

Kirsten Wilbur, MSOT, OTR/L

Date of Completion

Spring 2013

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

Date of Award



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound