Forgotten: elderly persons with disability - a consequence of policy

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Date: April-June 1990
From: The Journal of Rehabilitation(Vol. 56, Issue 2)
Publisher: National Rehabilitation Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,981 words

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Abstract :

There is an increasing proportion of older individuals in the United States population. The incidence of chronic disease and associated disabilities increases by 3.5 times with aging, yet services offered for elderly persons by rehabilitation agencies appear to be inadequate. Thus, older people may retire from employment rather than receive assistance in remaining employed. They may also become institutionalized rather than obtain assistance in living independently. This ultimately results in lost human potential and has financial ramifications. Inequitable distribution of rehabilitation services based on age is widespread and has included denial of prostheses (false legs) to older amputees, unavailability of longer-term rehabilitation for stroke patients, lack of services for older blind people, and unavailability of drug and mental health therapy for older patients. Government policy, which has set working age limits and vocational rehabilitation limits at 64 to 65 years of age, has been a major contributor to the lack of rehabilitation services for older persons. Ageism also results from society's and rehabilitation professionals' fear of aging and perception of the elderly. Improved educational preparation for professionals concerning how to serve the elderly, and a revamping of governmental rehabilitation programming, are ways to remedy this situation. Also, advocacy for elders' rights to rehabilitation is needed to influence legislation. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A9184167