This and Related Reports
- Beyond 50: AARP Reports to the Nation
- Beyond 50.02: A Report to the Nation on Trends in Health Security
- Beyond 50.04: A Report to the Nation on Consumers in the Marketplace
- Beyond 50.05 A Report to the Nation on Livable Communities: Creating Environments for Successful Aging
- Beyond 50.09 Chronic Care: A Call to Action for Health Reform
Table of Contents:
- Scope of the Report
- What Do We Mean by Disability?
- Does This Report Include Long-Term Care?
- Independent Living: The Framework for the Report
- Highlights of Findings
- Persons with Disabilities 50 and Older Speak for Themselves
- Key Findings and Policy Implications
- Making Sense of It All
The desire for independence is important to people of all ages. Toddlers struggle to walk unaided, teenagers rebel against parental restraints, adults decide where they will live or work—all of us want control over what we do, when and where, and with whom. We want to be in charge of our lives.
What happens, then, when disabilities early or late in life threaten our independence and require us to rely on others for help with the ordinary routines of life?
This year's report in AARP's Beyond Fifty series takes an in-depth look at the roles of supportive services, family and community, and our social and physical environments in helping individuals 50 and older live with dignity and independence as they age.
The vast majority of persons 50 and older do not require long-term assistance at any given time. However, most people will require assistance at some point in their lives, and most families will face these issues with their older members. In the struggle to live with independence and dignity as we age, everyone has a story, and each story is unique and deeply personal. While most of this report focuses on "numbers" rather than narrative, the realities of living with disabilities are its backdrop:
- Long-term supportive services often needed by persons with disabilities are personal and intimate.
- The ability to be independent and "in charge" helps to define one's quality of life.
- Family life and community, our social and physical environments, and long-term supportive services play key roles in influencing quality of life for persons with disabilities.
- Presents the perspective of persons with disabilities about what would make their lives better garnered from the first national survey of persons 50 and older devoted to this topic;
- Presents newly available estimates of levels of disability and the use of supportive services among persons 50 and older from the most reliable national data sources;
- Portrays new options for independent living available to persons with disabilities, challenging outdated stereotypes of long-term care as synonymous with nursing home care; and
- Discusses the roles of housing, communities, and transportation in creating a livable and accessible environment that supports the independence of persons with disabilities