Aging with a Disability

People with disabilities are living longer with better health care and supports. Older adults with disabilities have unique health care needs–the normal aging process is often complicated by a lifetime of reduced mobility, poorer general health, medications, surgeries, etc. Symptoms such as pain, arthritis, joint problems, and fatigue are not uncommon.

Older adults with disabilities should follow the healthy guidelines recommended for everyone such as receiving regular medical care and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Preventive Health Care Screening Guidelines for People Aging with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PDF)
Report summarizing what health care providers, individuals with disabilities, families and care givers need to know to make sure that individuals with disabilities receive the appropriate medical  and preventative health care and other environmental supports they require throughout their lifespan so that they may focus on maximizing their abilities as they age.


Aging With Cerebral Palsy

An Introduction to Aging and Cerebral Palsy
Overview of the aging process in people with cerebral palsy.

Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology Special Issue on Adults with Cerebral Palsy
Articles based on a workshop held in 2009 that sought to define the challenges of treating and preventing the secondary musculoskeletal and neuromuscular complications in this rapidly growing population.

Aging and Cerebral Palsy
Fact sheet t from the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation about what is known about aging and cerebral palsy and the need for more scientific research into the magnitude of the secondary musculoskeletal and neuromuscular complications in the adult with cerebral palsy.


Aging and Disability Research

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with a Disability
The Center on Aging With Disabilities addresses the specific challenges that affect people who are aging with physical disabilities, specifically targeting persons with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, and muscular dystrophy.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Lifespan Health and Function
The Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Lifespan Health and Function seeks to enhance the health, function, and full community participation of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across the lifespan and bolster family caregiving capacity through a coordinated set of research, training in evidence-based practice, and dissemination activities.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Technologies for Successful Aging with Disability
The overarching objective of the Center for Technologies for Successful Aging with Disability is to optimize functional performance, employment, and community participation for older adults with disabilities through cutting-edge technology.

Other Helpful Resources

Aging with a Disability: Putting Research into Practice and Education
In March, 2003, the Center for Disabilities and the Health Professions partnered with the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with a Disability to present: “Aging with a Disability: Putting Research into Practice and Education.” Presentations included an overview of medical issues, Musculoskeletal and Functional Issues and Caregiver/Support Issues.