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Health Promotion and Aging with a Disability

In recent years, a considerable body of knowledge has evolved to address health promoting interventions – mainly around exercise, conditioning, and prevention of secondary conditions – for people with disabilities (Rimmer, 1999). (SeeNationalCenterfor Physical Activity and Disability, http://www.ncpad.org). These interventions have become increasingly rigorous and evidenced based. Most, however, have addressed the particular needs of adults with intellectual and mobility limitations(Patrick, 1997). Older people with disabilities have not received particular attention in this emerging science. Similarly, an increasing number of innovative, evidence based health promotion interventions have emerged to address the needs of older people. Exercise and conditioning (Tai Chi, for example) have evolved as well accepted interventions widely employed in the aging system. Those who acquire disability in late life are frequently accommodated in these interventions. Those who have lifelong disabilities are not. The gap in knowledge lies at the intersection of aging, late life disability, and those aging with a disability. Tailoring interventions to especially accommodate the needs of those aging with a disability defines,perhaps, a new emphasis for evidence based health promotion actives.

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