Aging With Long-Term Mobility Impairment: Maintaining Activities of Daily Living via Selection, Optimization, and Compensation. By: Remillard, Elena T; Fausset, Cara Bailey; Fain, Walter Brad. Gerontologist. Jun2019, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p559-569. 11p. 2 Charts, 3 Graphs.

There is a growing number of adults with long-term mobility impairment aging into the older adult population. Little is known about the experiences of these individuals in maintaining activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) as they face age-related changes in addition to a pre-existing mobility impairment. Through in-home interviews with 21 participants (ages 52–86) with long-term mobility impairment, the present study employed a qualitative description design to explore perceptions of how and why select ADL/IADL routines (e.g. bed transfer, toileting) have changed over time. The selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) model was used as a framework to organize participants’ adaptations. Among the ADL/IADL routine changes mentioned, elective selection strategies, in which a person continues to work at maintaining a task, were more frequently endorsed than loss-based selection strategies, in which a person does a task less or gets help from someone. Findings suggest that this population is actively adapting their routines to preserve their involvement in, and frequency of doing, these ADLs/IADLs. Counter to expectation, perceived age-related changes underlying activity routine changes were subtle and generally did not include sensory and cognitive declines. Findings provide insights into the difficulties adults with long-term mobility impairment experience as they age, as well as the adaptations they employ to overcome those challenges. Results highlight the need for customizable, mobility supports (e.g. assistive technologies, home modifications) that can adjust to an individual’s changing abilities across the life span.