Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chronic Disability in Old Age
Chronic impairments such as arthritis and vision or hearing loss become more normative with age and often involve major limitations in functional ability that can threaten a person's mental health and quality of life. Performing daily life tasks can become increasingly difficult due to an impairment, and new ways of coping are needed that allow a person to maintain his or her quality of life despite limitations. Addressing this issue, recent research has shown that older adults who deal with any sort of major loss or decline tend to use and benefit from ways of coping that are compensatory in nature (Brandtstädter & Rothermund, 2002; Heckhausen & Schulz, 1995). Two main groups of compensatory strategies have been defined in this literature. The first group of strategies may be characterized as a “maintenance approach,” because it aims at maintaining functional independence in one's daily life routines. This includes seeking out help ...