Ageing and Disability: The Ramifications of Longevity of the Disabled Elders

Ageing and Disability: The Ramifications of Longevity of the Disabled Elders

Ageing and disabilities are inter-related and that constitutes human’s genetics and pathological properties. Thus, being elderly is a process and expected but, being disabled is an addendum to these holistic trajectories of chromosomal makeup of mammals for which humans are one of them. These metamorphosis characteristics are inevitable though fluctuates and, or depends on once “moral luck”. In our human experiences, it could be overwhelming to be elderly but, to be disabled is even more devastating. Thus, living with these distinctive features could pose some difficulties to undertake activities of daily living. The compound effect sometimes might be unhelpful and demoralising to most service users as they are living longer and incapable of attending their needs.

For some, undertaking holistic functional activities of daily living could be prodigious. This is particularly apparent with people who have severe pathological and physical defects or challenging behaviours. As disabled people are living longer, their needs are becoming critical or substantial and that could be presenting difficulties in terms of physical and financial to both the informal and formal caregivers. It is now been observed in practice that “Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome” client group (PDA) is at increase and are living longer than other disabled people. This ailment is part of autistic spectrum and their care needs are complex and requires specialist input at all-time due to unpredictable nature of their condition.

This condition is a lifelong disability that affects boys and girls in society. People with PDA need different amounts of support depending on how their condition affects them. The main difficulty for people with PDA is their avoidance of the everyday demands made by other people, due to their high anxiety levels when they feel that they are not in control. However, because they tend to have much better social communication and interaction skills than other people on the spectrum, they can use those skills to disguise their resistance through common avoidance behaviour.

People with Pathological Demands Avoidance illnesses usually experience increased difficulties throughout their lives. They often imitate inappropriate exhibitions within a setting and may cause chaotic and distressing home life situations. This is the reason why they should have high input of support systems at all times. Autism is an overwhelmingly male diagnosis – it has even been described as the “extreme male brain”. The question is why do women only make up one in four of those diagnosed with autism? Are women really less likely to have autism or are they just slipping through the net? Could it be that they are just better than their male counterparts at adapting to social situations or are simply more skilled at pretending not to have autism?

However, disabilities in general is inter-twined to sensory processing which describes our ability to take in information through our senses, organise and interpret that information, and make a meaningful response. For most people, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities, but for some people with disabilities despite the classifications (autism, learning difficulties, learning disabilities, cerebelle palsy et al) sensory fraternization does not develop as efficiently as it should. Nevertheless, longevity amongst disabled people is on the increase and costing health and social services as well as the informal society a lot of money.

In the recent economic meltdown, questions are being asked whether the national health and social care would be able to continue to absorb increasing costs to maintain the statuesque. Does this mean that public opinion is shifting against normalisation of disabled people and their support systems? On the other hand, demographic change is presenting some difficulties to both the informal society and the wider welfare organisations that could support the aged and disabled. The latest census in the UK (2011) showed there are older people than the younger adults and this an issue of concern, which needs to be thought through, while adequate economic and structural adjustments are made to sustain holistic care needs of disabled people and the aged.

Therefore, planning for continuing care for the aged and disabled people is now paramount important hence this is likely to affect every citizen of the state in their lifetime. This challenge calls for political alliance hence non one political persuasion or organisation has the qualifications to deal with increasing disabled and older peoples’ health and social care needs. Care needs are not limited to a certain group of people, it rather poignant to all and sundry thus; collaboration between local and national governments as well as merger between health and social care would be appropriate and welcomed


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