Recreation, Parks and Tourism 326

RCPT 326: Leisure and the Aging Process

Credit Hours: (3)

Considers a broad range of topics associated with the role of recreation and the aging process, including the use of activities as a therapeutic intervention in furthering the quality of life experiences as one grows older. Consideration is also given to community and institutionally-oriented program planning and evaluation throughout the leisure service delivery process.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Initial consideration is given to an overview of aging in America followed by consideration of the process of human aging - psychomotor, cognitive, and affective and the implications for leisure services. Thereafter, the focus is directed toward assisting the student to develop an understanding of the role of leisure in the life span with emphasis on the aging process. Since leisure services for older adults can be found in two resource environments - open and closed, attention is given to the provisions and delivery of leisure services to community-based older adults (open) in five categories of recreation settings and to the delivery and role of recreation services in institutional-based settings (closed). Guest speakers and video-tapes will be used to augment lectures.

The following topics are considered in the order given:

I. Overview of Aging in America
II. Characteristics of Aging –

    A. Aging and the Psychomotor Domain
    B. Aging in the Cognitive Domain
    C. Aging and the Affective Domain and their association with recreation and leisure experiences

III. Leisure, Lifestyle, and Lifespan
IV. Community-Based Delivery of Recreation, Parks and Tourism

    A. Senior Day Care
    B. Outreach Programs
    C. Multipurpose Senior Centers
    D. Planned Retirement Communities
    E. Programs Sponsored by Agencies in the Heterogeneous Community

V. Institutional-Based Delivery of Leisure Services

    A. Types of Facilities and Levels of Care
    B. Nature of Institutional Environment
    C. Use and Delivery of Recreation Services
    D. Rationale for Service
    E. Planning Model for Program Service
    F. Specialized Rehabilitation-Oriented Programs in Nursing Homes


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

Developing a general knowledge and understanding of the value and implications of leisure services for older adults, regardless of environment - open or closed. Guest speakers and video-tapes are used to expand and augment the content of the course. Students, independently or in small groups, are required to make a verbal presentation on a topic, after consultation with the instructor. Students are also required to develop a semester term paper on a topic from a prepared list. Lastly, students are expected to volunteer two hours per week in an agency providing services to older adults (i.e., hospital, senior center, nursing home, etc.).


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the aging process from a physical, social, and psychological perspective and the role and implications of leisure services in the aging process.
  • Describe the role and function of leisure services in various settings.
  • Discuss the value of leisure experiences in the life span and the aging process.


Assessment Measures

Assessment of the student's success in the course is based on  the grades from the presentation, written paper, and participation in classroom discussion.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

February 2005 Reviewed Edward Udd, Chair