Elderly People with Disabilities Want Dignity And a Sense of Control, Say SF Researchers

February 9, 2012

Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco found that elderly people with late-life disabilities seek a high quality of life based on a sense of dignity and a sense of control. Although this study is somewhat limited – the sample was 62 participants in a day program for older adults on Medicaid – it is an essential piece of market intelligence for businesses that sell products and services to this growing population across the United States.

Not tiny hearing aids that you insert deep inside the ear canal to hear better – because you can lose them. And not the Clapper, either. Just products that give elderly people with disabilities, and for that matter all people with disabilities, a sense of control over their lives. It is a common theme that runs through every corner of the market of people with disabilities. They want nothing more than to have the same kind of access to the products, services, and places that those without disabilities take for granted.

And when one of those without disabilities grows older and experiences a disability for the first time – for example, loss of sight or decline in walking ability – he/she will lose the sense of control once taken for granted. Restoring that sense of control, and being treated with respect and dignity, is what a successful business does when marketing the products and services that address the customer’s disability.

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