Really Understanding Barriers to Independent Living

Published 11 June 07 06:09 PM | Emil Ratti 

Everyone’s goal is to live independently for as long as possible, but often the barriers to such an option are a physical environment that doesn’t accommodate sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities. That’s according to research by the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, a part of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y.

The school’s Website,, is aimed at teaching medical students and doctors how older adults can avoid injury through environmental changes. The unique site is of equal value to your client responsible for the care of aging relatives. Of particular interest is a section with 3D animation that allows visitors to witness virtual patients struggling with daily tasks like bathing and taking medicine. It also allows you to virtually experience visual problems—such as macular degeneration or glaucoma—and really understand almost firsthand their effect on maneuvering an environment. Beyond uncovering the lurking dangers in a typical house, there are research-based recommendations for modifications and technologies that can help to eliminate injury among those over age 50 and well beyond.

 SRES® Member Memo
June 5, 2007

Emil Ratti


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