A quasi-experimental design was used to assess the efficacy of a leisure education-based later-life planning model for 10 older adults with mental retardation. Prior to the initiation of the planning process, they were interviewed and completed three standardized scales designed to assess life and leisure satisfaction and leisure constraints. A comparison group completed these scales but did not participate in the planning process. At the completion of the study, both groups completed the same scales. Results demonstrated that the planning-process group had significantly higher life and leisure satisfaction at the end of the study. Many participants also made changes to their lifestyles consistent with plans made during the study. Results suggest that a later-life planning process may contribute to the quality of life of older adults with mental retardation.
This research was supported by funding from the Sister Bertha Bauman Research Awards; the Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute; and the Province of Manitoba. The first author was supported by a Research Fellowship from the Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba, during the time this study was conducted. The authors acknowledge the support of participants and their families and community partners, who made this study possible.