Date Presented 04/20/2023

Seniors often have difficulty establishing a new routine after retirement. There is not one 'tailored suit' for successful aging, and OT practitioners have an important role in promoting self-management during this time.

Primary Author and Speaker: Michal Tsadok-Cohen

Additional Authors and Speakers: Sara Rosenblum, Sonya Meyer

Contributing Authors: Simona Ferrante

The study aimed to map out the main constructs involved in aging successfully, as perceived by seniors, and highlight the importance of self-management. Seniors often have difficulty finding their way and establishing a new routine after retirement (WHO, 2001). Extensive research concerning successful aging and recommending ways to accomplish it is available. However, these recommendations are mostly elicited from professionals and not from the seniors themselves (Bowling & Dieppe, 2005). This qualitative study was comprised of fifty-nine participants, across nine focus groups, including: independent seniors aged 65 and above living at home, health professionals working with seniors, and family members of seniors. Participants shared experiences concerning their everyday occupations and routines. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and qualitatively analyzed, using the constructivist grounded theory principles. Common experiences, concerns, supports, and barriers were identified and categorized. Three theoretical categories of successful aging emerged: daily lifestyle, personality characteristics, and self-management abilities. Results revealed diversity in how seniors perceive successful aging. For example, a 68-year-old woman said: ‘Retirement is like heaven, I enjoy every moment, there’s a lot to do’, whereas a 69 year old man claimed: ‘Nobody needs you anymore. . . I retired a year ago and I still haven't succeeded in organizing a daily schedule’. Seniors who succeed in managing their daily life, and experience control of their own life, delineate successful aging. The diversity accentuates that each senior needs to tailor their own self fitted ‘suit’ to wear as they stride successfully into their aging years. Encouraging seniors to tailor and control their own occupational lifestyle may promote aging successfully. Occupational therapists play an important role in promoting self-management and can facilitate tailoring the ‘suit’ for successful aging.


Bowling, A., & Dieppe, P. (2005). What is successful ageing and who should define it? British Medical Journal, 331(7531), 1548–1551.

World Health Organization. (2001). Men, ageing and health: Achieving health across the life span (No. WHO/NMH/NPH/01.2). World Health Organization.