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Aging

 

Age and Ability...

   
      Age and Ability  Photo Description
     The Aging Process
 
Photo of Senior Golfers
Design decisions made on the basis of erroneous assumptions or myths about any group will reduce the overall utility and effectiveness of products and environments for all.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the overwhelming majority of older people are neither disabled nor institutionalized and experience a relatively normal and independent life style...

 
   

     
 
 
The New Reality

As medical advances in prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of many diseases traditionally associated with aging continue to achieve break-through treatments and cures, older people add additional, healthier, quality years to their lives.

As a result, only 4-5 percent of our older friends or relatives are institutionalized at any one time!

This means that 94-95 percent of all older people live independently—they live in the same kind of houses, drive the same kind of cars, and use the same kind of household products as their younger friends and relatives.

Still, the likelihood of acquiring a disabling health problem or physical limitation increases with age.

According to the National center for Health Statistics (NCHS), adults aged 80 and over are 2.5 times as likely to have one or more phsical limitations as adults aged 50-59. Moreover, census data reveals that over 29% of Americans 65 and over suffer some form of physical disability.

 



  Age and Disability

Disabillity Symbol  

IT'S A MISTAKE TO LINK ADVANCED AGE TO DISABILITY...

While, most physical and sensory limitations do occur in older people, you do not have to be old to acquire one. Functional limitations can—and do—hit people of ANY age.

Few people of past generations attained old age. Therefore, those who did usually acquired a fatal disability (the benefits of today’s miraculous medical breakthroughs were not available to them).

As each new medical discovery added to our expected life span, “old age” gradually became linked to “disability”— a mental marriage still reinforced by today's outdated myths and stereotypes.

 



  All Ages Acquire Limitations

Crutches  

A DISABILITY CAN OCCUR TO PEOPLE OF ANY AGE – EVEN THE YOUNG!

Those who are old are not the only ones likely to become disabled—younger generations also acquire a variety of disabling limitations.

CONSIDER THESE FACTS:

  1. An estimated 46 million Americans—one in five —have arthritis. It's the number one cause of physical limitation and movement in the United States, disabling over 7-million individuals—of all ages.

  2. Problems related to stiffness or paralysis affect 5 million American households, or about 60 percent of all elderly households.

  3. Accidents are the 6th leading cause of death for people 65 and older, with falls the single leading cause of injury mortality in this group.

  4. Not all older people acquire severe physical or sensory limitations. The percentages of leading chronic conditions for this group are:

  5. Thirty four million of us, of all ages, have some form of functional limitation, with 29 million under age 65 and 14 million under age 55.

Because physical and sensory limitations can occur during our younger years, transgenerational design extends its benefits to those temporary disabilities we acquire throughout our lives—sprains, burns, falls, broken bones, and even pregnancy, limit our activities and curtail our independence.

Thus, declines in our vision, hearing, touch, or movement limit our freedom, provoke frustrations, cause accidents, restrict our mobility, and restrain our independence—whatever our age!



  Chronic Health Problems

 

THE INCIDENCE OF CHRONIC HEALTH PROBLEMS DOES INCREASE WITH AGE

Long lasting limitations can occur through such everyday activities of daily living as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting and carrying – no matter what one's age or ability.

Moreover, the unexpected distress of accidental falls, sprains, burns, broken bones, illness, infection, or other life changes like pregnancy, keep us vulnerable throughout our lives—whatever our age.

As a result, most of us can look forward to acquiring at least one chronic, age-related, health condition such as arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, or other physical or sensory impairments.

 



  Falls and Accidental Injuries

Falling  

FALLS ARE THE SINGLE LEADING CAUSE OF INJURY MORTALITY FOR PEOPLE 65 AND OLDER

More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year. But, while this risk rises with age, falls and fractures are not an inevitable part of growing older.

Still, among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions, trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths. Each year, more than 1.6 million older adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries with fractures among older women more than twice those of men. Such fall-related fractures most often target the head, hip, pelvis, spine, arm, hand, or ankle.

Unintended results. Twenty to thirty percent of those who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, making getting around and living independently difficult, and increasing the risk of early death. Those fortunate to fall without injury can develop a fear of falling, which often leads to a loss of physical fitness and reduced mobility.

Falls don't "just happen." While many falls are linked to a person's age, physical condition or a medical problem, most are caused by safety hazards in the home or in business or community environments. Almost 50% of falls among older people occur outdoors.

You don’t have to be old to fall.  Fourteen million under the age of 55 have acquired functional limitations. Does your home, and do your household products, help prevent falls and accidental injuries?

Personal changes in your home, your lifestyle or physical well-being can reduce your risk of falls and fractures regardless of your age or ability.

 



 The 'Transgenerational' Solution

Family  

TRANSGENERATIONAL DESIGN CREATES A WARM AND HUMANE  ACOMMODATION BETWEEN PRODUCTS AND THEIR USERS

It benefits people of any age or ability by providing normal, useful—and usable— products and environments that do not demean, embarrass, or stigmatize the user.

'Transgenerational' products and environments help people—and families—of all ages and abilities maintain their normal lifestyle. They reduce accidents; relieve frustration; maintain one's dignity; minimize the need for assistance; and extend our precious independence.

Everyone benefits!

Products and environments designed from a "transgenerational" perspective can help all of us maintain a normal life style by reducing frustrations and accidents, limiting the assistance required, and extending precious independence.



    
         

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