Older Adults’ Mental Health Through Leisure Activities During COVID-19: A Scoping Review

Solymar Rivera-Torres, Elias Mpofu, Marian Jean Keller, Stan Ingman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Older adults are at high risk for mental health distress due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This scoping review aimed to map emerging evidence on the types of leisure and recreation activities (LRA) adults, 60 years and older, are engaged in for their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified 10 studies on LRA for mental health by older adults with COVID-19 mitigation from a search of the following databases: Medline/PubMed, Excerpta Medica database (EMBASE), Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, JBI Evidence Synthesis, and Epistemonicos. A narrative synthesis of the data revealed age cohorts of young-old (60–69 years) and middle-old (70–79 years) engaging mainly in online LRA for mental health compared to the older-old adults (80 years and older). The middle-old (70–79 years) and older-old adults (80–89 years) engaged in more physical LRA for mental health compared to the younger-old adults. Across age cohorts, the older adults engaged in social connectedness LRA for mental health wellbeing. COVID-19–safe LRA mental health support interventions for older adults should be tailored to their age cohort predispositions for optimal benefit.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • age cohort
  • leisure
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • pandemic
  • recreation
  • smart technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Older Adults’ Mental Health Through Leisure Activities During COVID-19: A Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this