Based on self-determination theory, this study examined the relationship between leisure activities, motivation, and adjustment to institutional living by older adults who live in nursing homes. We hypothesized that motivational profiles with higher levels of self-determined motivation represent the optimal profiles regarding participation in leisure activities, adaptation to nursing home living, and satisfaction with life. Participants completed questionnaires assessing motivation, leisure activity participation, life satisfaction, and adaptation to the nursing home. Results showed a relationship between the latter three factors. A latent profile analysis based on the different forms of motivation indicated four distinct profiles. Although no differences were found between the high self-determined profile (high self-determined motivation and low non-self-determined motivation) and the additive profile (high self-determined motivation and non-self-determined motivation), participants with a moderate profile and a low self-determined profile reported the lowest levels in leisure activity participation, adaptation to the nursing home, and satisfaction with life.