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By George L. Maddox PhD (auth.), George L. Maddox PhD (eds.)

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The general rule, then, is simple: Older people continue most of the activities that contributed to their lives previously. This is especially true for those "core" activities that are accessible, usually in or near the residence, and that form an integral part of the ongoing round of daily life: informal interaction and conversation, media use, reading, walking, and playing with routine tasks and procedures. In fact, home-based activities may actually increase for adults over 64 years of age (lso-ahola, Jackson, & Dunn, 1994).

But in Havighurst's original formulation of activity theory, activity was not just a level of doing but also a pattern of activity that formed the person's lifestyle. Activity theory predicted that maintaining both level and pattern of activities from middle age into old age would lead to the highest level of life satisfaction in old age. Equilibrium. Activity theory makes the functionalist assumption that activity patterns arise to meet needs and that the needs of older people are no different from the needs of middle-aged people; therefore, whatever equilibrium the person has achieved in middle age should be maintained into old age.

The level of specificity of performance may vary. Information on pain is sometimes included. Assessment may be made by the person being assessed, a family member, or a service provider. , 1992). Assessment may be based on observation of actual performance, but often it is not. , where unattended bathing is not allowed, where there are no cooking facilities), assessment may reflect hopeful expectation. The advantages of performancebased assessments may, however, have been overestimated (Myers, Holiday, Harvey, & Hutchinson, 1993).

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