Reimagining Senior Centers for Purposeful Aging: Perspectives of Diverse Older Adults

Hsiao Wen Liao, Marguerite DeLiema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Senior centers must re-envision their programs to appeal to today’s increasingly older and more diverse older adults. Using a purposeful aging framework, this study aims to inform senior center programming by capturing diverse older adults’ perspectives on future goals, perceptions of aging, attitudes about senior centers, and experience with technology. Participants age 70 and older (N = 64) joined one of eight focus groups organized by race/ethnicity and preferred spoken language. Transcripts were coded using a grounded theory approach to identify perspectives in each domain. Across groups, shared perspectives included aspirations to make a difference, maintain health and independence, continue learning, and embrace positive perceptions of aging. However, both positive and negative attitudes about participating in senior centers and the effects of technology were presented. We discuss how to redesign senior center programming to meet members’ proactive approach to aging and future goals, and facilitate more confidence with new technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1502-1510
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume40
Issue number11
Early online dateMar 1 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation awarded to the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • age-friendly communities
  • racial and ethnic diversity
  • senior centers
  • sense of purpose
  • technology and digital life
  • views of aging

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