Age and Ability...
Contrary to popular belief, the overwhelming majority of older people are neither disabled nor institutionalized and experience a relatively normal and independent life style...
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.
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expected life span, “old age” gradually became linked to “disability”— a mental marriage still reinforced by today's outdated myths and stereotypes.
CONSIDER THESE FACTS:
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.
keep us vulnerable
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.
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