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Patient Guides

Performing activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) is critical in maintaining older person's independence. ADL and IADL impairments are often due to chronic conditions that accrue with advancing age, such as arthritis, Parkinson's disease, or macular degeneration. As people age, they also encounter an increasing array of environmental barriers that additionally compromise performance in daily tasks and increase injury risk.

When decreased functioning or injury occurs, however, the common misperception is that the problem is solely age-related functional decline, not the dynamic interface between the older user's capabilities and the designed environment. The designed environment is a significant factor in the functional loss experienced by older adults. Our handouts address how functional independence can be dramatically improved by redesigning the environment to meet the needs of older adults.

© Weill Medical College of Cornell University
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