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Gerontologist. 2007 Jun;47(3):271-9.

Does disparity in the way disabled older adults are treated imply ageism?

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University of Minnesota School of Public Health, D351 Mayo (MMC 197), 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Although the nearly one in seven Americans who have disabilities share many characteristics, the attitudes toward and the programs, care models, expenditures, and goals for people with disabilities differ substantially across age groups in ways that suggest ageism. Expenditures per recipient are substantially higher for younger individuals with disabilities, largely as a result of more effective advocacy. Programs that are rejected by younger people with disabilities are considered mainstream for older adults. As demographic, social, and economic circumstances change, preserving the programmatic separation will become more problematic. Increased competition for finite resources may motivate a closer examination of commonalities across disabilities in an effort to achieve greater equity.

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