Barriers to Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities and Seniors

Abstract

Individuals with disabilities and seniors often lack the freedom to choose with whom they live and where they reside. Service options may involve moving consumers to large nursing facilities or other less-preferred settings rather than optimizing environmental supports in their own home or in less restrictive settings. Not only do adults usually enjoy greater choice when they live in their own homes relative to individuals living in congregate care or group home settings but independent and semi-independent settings are also associated with better outcomes and lower costs. Identifying variables that serve as barriers to independent living is especially important given estimates predicting that the numbers of seniors and individuals with disabilities will double in the next 20 years. This doubling will tax an already burdened and costly system of care. The present study queried consumers and other key stakeholders about potential barriers to independent living and their importance. Findings not only revealed a high degree of overlap between identified barriers and their importance ratings within groups but also showed clear differences in potential barriers across the groups assessed (individuals with disabilities and senior citizens).

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Correspondence to Florence D. DiGennaro Reed.

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DiGennaro Reed, F.D., Strouse, M.C., Jenkins, S.R. et al. Barriers to Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities and Seniors. Behav Analysis Practice 7, 70–77 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-014-0011-6

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Keywords

  • Independent living
  • Disabilities
  • Senior citizens