The Benefits of Social Inclusion for Aging Adults with Disabilities

While people of all ages benefit from having supportive social networks, disabled seniors in particular can reap significant rewards from doing so. The negative effects of loneliness and social isolation on a person’s mental and physical health are amplified with age. The advantages of social participation for disabled seniors will be discussed.

A sense of purpose and belonging can be fostered through social inclusion for disabled seniors. Social inclusion can increase older adults with disabilities’ social connectedness and quality of life, according to research published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. In addition, older adults who have disabilities can benefit from being included in community life through social inclusion.

Elderly people with disabilities who are included in society are less likely to experience the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness. The National Council on Aging found that feelings of loneliness and isolation significantly increased the risk of developing depression and slowed cognitive function in older adults. Older adults with disabilities can benefit from social inclusion interventions because they increase their chances of making and maintaining friendships.

Independent and self-reliant

Independent and self-reliant senior citizens with disabilities can benefit from social inclusion programs. Involvement in social activities has been shown to improve cognitive health and postpone the onset of cognitive decline, according to a report from the National Academy of Sciences. Social inclusion also helps older adults with disabilities keep their independence by providing them with access to resources and support.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau

In conclusion, aging adults who have disabilities benefit greatly from being actively included in their communities. It can help people feel like they have a place in the world, combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, and boost their brain power.

References:

J. E. Gaugler, J. V. Hobday, and J. C. Robbins (2009). The advantages and disadvantages of family involvement in dementia care. Research on Aging, 49(6), 797–812.

S. Hillcoat-Nalletamby and J. Ogg (2016). Impact of a community-based befriending scheme on the social networks and well-being of older people: An empirical study. 59(4), 279-295 in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

The country’s highest scientific body (2015). Understanding and addressing cognitive decline as we age. Press of the National Academies.

Governmental Agency for the Aging (2018). The Aging in the United States: A Profile of Senior Citizens in the United States. Data from the 2016 United States Aging Survey was retrieved from https://www.ncoa.org/resources/.

The National Organization of People with Disabilities (2017). The State of Our Nation’s Disability Policy. Obtainable at: https://ncd.gov/sites/default/files/National Disability Policy A Progress Report.pdf

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