Looking Forward: Research to Respond to a Rapidly Aging Population

K. Charlie Lakin, Meghan M. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People aging with severe disabilities face many age- and disability-related challenges that are shared with a range of family members and other caregivers. Although these challenges are often exacerbated by substantial physical, cognitive, communication, health, and other impairments associated with severe disabilities, thematically, they are often similar to the challenges faced by other older persons as they navigate the aging process. These themes include (a) planning for a desired post–working years lifestyle, (b) identifying and securing services and supports that accommodate disability, (c) sustaining the support of family and friends, (d) maintaining optimal health, (e) dealing with grief and end-of-life issues, and (f) avoiding loneliness and isolation. Using these themes, this final article reviews the findings of the articles in this special issue as well as other related studies to suggest potentially fruitful directions in future research to contribute to the well-being of the rapidly growing population of persons aging with severe disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-292
Number of pages13
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • aging
  • disability
  • practice
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Health Professions
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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