New approach is required as disability and aging converge

Disability and aging are interconnected according to Timothy Ghilain, interim chief executive, of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities.

The EASPD represents service providers across Europe. “We are trying to promote services that enable people with disabilities to be active citizens and to enjoy their rights,” Ghilain explained.

“We have people with disabilities aging and joining senior healthcare, but we also have aging people that gain disabilities,” he said. The consequence is that in nursing homes and other residential care are people using wheelchair, or who have dementia and other disabilities.

“The disability field has been pushing for community-based living empowerment and a human rights-based approach, away from the medical and biosocial models.”

He said this is inevitable and coming to other fields too, such as senior healthcare. “There will be change and senior healthcare services should anticipate and develop services that match the needs and wishes of users to provide quality-of-life services that enable senior people to enjoy their rights in the community, with their families and in the places with the people they care about.”

Please click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.