Actions and personal attributes of community-dwelling older adults to maintain independence

Hon K. Yuen, Robert W. Gibson, Matthew K. Yau, Maralynne D. Mitcham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study explored strategies described by community-dwelling older adults to maintain independence. One hundred and sixtythree community-dwelling older adults participated in semi-structured, open-ended interviews. Data from verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. Informants described maintaining an independent lifestyle through a set of complex interrelated actions (including engagement in a variety of productive activities) to promote health, to maintain adequate social supportive networks and sources, and to manage finances wisely. These actions seem directly modified through personal attributes, which included views on aging, self-reliance, and perceived efficacy. Further investigation in the role of personal attributes in modifying the actions is essential to allow a better understanding of why some older adults practice certain strategies while others emphasize the importance of different aspects of lifestyle in promoting independence. Implications of the findings on occupational therapy practice in health promotion for community-dwelling older adults are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-53
Number of pages19
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 6 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living
  • Adaptation
  • Aged
  • Interviews
  • Psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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