Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly

By David M. Cutler; David A. Wise | Go to book overview

13
Trends in Assistance with
Daily Activities:
Racial/Ethnic and Socioeconomic
Disparities Persist in the
U.S. Older Population

Vicki A. Freedman, Linda G. Martin, Jennifer Cornman, Emily M. Agree, and Robert F. Schoeni


13.1 Introduction

Promoting independence through increased use of assistive technology has been a goal of federal programs and policies, beginning with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act over a decade ago, and continuing with the 1998 Assistive Technology Act, and President Bush's New Freedom Initiative. These policies specifically target the removal of environmental barriers and increased access to assistive and universally designed technologies of people of all ages and abilities. Indeed, assistive technology (AT) is playing an increasingly important role in facilitating independence among older Americans (Pew and Van Hemel 2004), particularly those at risk for long-term care, and a growing number of studies sug

Vicki A. Freedman is a professor in the department of Health Systems and Policy at the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's School of Public Health. Linda G.
Martin is a senior fellow at RAND Corporation. Jennifer Cornman is an adjunct assistant
professor in the department of Health Systems and Policy at University of Medicine and Den-
tistry of New Jersey's School of Public Health. Emily M. Agree is an associate professor at the
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Robert F. Schoeni is a research profes-
sor at the Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Re-
search, and professor of economics and public policy, at the University of Michigan.

An earlier version of this chapter was presented at the Disability Group Meeting, National
Bureau of Economic Research, Jackson Hole, WY, October 8-11, 2004, and at the annual
meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Washington, D.C., November 20-22,
2004. We gratefully acknowledge support for this chapter provided by the National Institute
on Aging (R01 AG021516, P30 AG12810, R01 AG19805), the Mary Woodard Lasker Char-
itable Trust and Michael E. DeBakey Foundation, and the National Bureau of Economic Re-
search. The views expressed are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of their
employers or funding agencies. Corresponding author: Vicki A. Freedman, Ph.D., Profes-
sor, Department of Health Systems and Policy, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey, School of Public Health, 683 Hoes Lane West, Piscataway, NJ 08854. vfreedman
@umdnj.edu

-411-

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