Scoping review summary

What we did

The Australian aged care workforce recently nominated meaningful lifestyle activities in aged care as a priority topic for the sector. To understand the scope of the evidence on meaningful lifestyle activities in aged care, we carried out a scoping review of systematic reviews on this topic. Activities had to be described as ‘meaningful’ to be considered. Then we compared reviews to identify the major themes discussed across this literature.

What we found

The scoping review identified 13 reviews on meaningful lifestyle activities in the aged care context published since 2013. From these reviews, we identified several recurring themes across the literature for which there is an established body of evidence. These themes were presented to our Expert Advisory Group who provided feedback and suggested additional themes for consideration. We incorporated these ‘evidence themes’ within the Knowledge Hub. They include person-centred approaches, nature-based activities, meaningful social activities, and physical activities.


This scoping review maps the current state of the literature in this area. We therefore acknowledge that the findings reflect the research available and not the practical components required to provide meaningful lifestyle activities in aged care.


Evidence on the benefits of meaningful lifestyle activities in aged care exists for specific interventions. However, we need more research on the activities older adults perceive as ‘meaningful,’ and how to identify meaningfulness in the context of Australian aged care.