Disabilities of Aging


Disabilities of Aging

Hearing loss, vision and mobility limitations, dementia

As the life expectancy of North Americans increases, we find a larger percentage of people living with losses that come with aging. These can be the loss of meaningful work, a spouse, and friends, for example. In addition, as we age many functions our bodies also deteriorate, creating chronic ailments.

Much can be done to curtail or prevent chronic ailments and improve quality of life for older persons, and the church's ministry can play a vital role in that process.

As we seek to include older persons in the continuing life of the church congregation and in the family, it is helpful to find ways to accommodate vision, hearing, and mobility limitations.

In addition, support groups can help to address issues faced by an aging population and their caregivers.  Support groups can advocate for long-term services and supports to enable older adults to accomplish everyday tasks that many of us take for granted—bathing, getting dressed, fixing meals, and managing a home. 

Resources from others

Embracing Aging: Families Facing Change

​A video produced by MennoMedia in 2007. DVD is available for purchase from ADN. (58 minutes plus bonus content)

Change and getting older is inevitable. So how can we make aging the best it can be? Families, experts and "wise ones" share insights on aging, housing choices, facing illness, and cooperating as siblings in the care of aging parents. Residents of a co-housing community for those over 55 offer attractive alternatives for the aging years.

Experts include: Ira Byock, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Stella Henry, RN, Author; Dene Peterson, founder of ElderSpirit; Jennie Chin Hansen, former president, AARP; and others.

Bonus content: finances, driving, assessing needs, choosing housing, cohousing and the role of the church.

Closed Captioned, optional English and Spanish subtitles, with discussion guide enclosed.

Care.com offers many articles and resources relevant to the needs of older adults and those who provide care.

Dementia-friendly churches

Resources on including people with dementia from Congregational Accessibility Network

Aging in Place

Guide to Staying Safely at Home from MoneyGeek.com. Learn how to make a home safe for aging in place, access technology that will assist the senior and caregivers, protect against fraud, and manage the financial aspects of aging at home

Sleep and Aging 

Sleep and Aging​ -- "A Good Night's Sleep," resources from the National Institute on Aging

 Learn more

    • Resources on understanding and supporting children and adults with autism
    • Resources on disabilities that commonly accompany aging, including hearing loss, vision and mobility limitations, dementia, and more.
    • Resources on the range of conditions resulting from brain injury to an unborn child when the mother consumes alcohol.
    • Inclusion of the Deaf and others with profound hearing loss.
    • Tips and stories on including people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
    • Resources to raise awareness of hidden disabilities. Examples of hidden disabilities include chronic pain or diseases, mental illnesses, and many more
    • Resources on including people with intellectual disabilities.
    • Welcoming people who use wheelchairs or walkers, or who get around with difficulty.
    • Understanding low vision and blindness.

 Related topics

 Opening Doors