Epidemiological, Demographic, and Social Correlates of Disability among the Elderly

Contrary to widespread assumption, functional impairment among the elderly is not a natural consequence of aging. The number of disabled elderly will increase with the general population’s aging, however, and will require family and other social services to meet older people’s needs for personal care, physical equipment, and changes in the built environment. Efficiently designed policies could prevent disability by intervening in early stages of chronic disease processes yielding the highest proportion of disablement, and might thereby extend people’s working lives. The problem’s scope also mandates basic changes in sociocultural perception of elderly people’s functioning.

Author(s): Kenneth G. Manton

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Volume 67, Issue S2 (pages 13–58)
Published in 1989