Center Objectives

  • To conduct applied and longitudinal research related to aging with a disability
  • To train health care professionals, researchers and consumers about both the findings in this area and how to conduct rehabilitation research
  • To disseminate our findings through presentations, symposiums, published articles and consumer information fact sheets

Consumer Involvement

This RRTC is a joint effort of consumers, their families and professional staff. Consumers are involved in every aspect of the Center from providing input into the creation of the Center to participating in the research projects (as researchers) and in every training activity.

Conceptual Background

For the first time, persons who acquired a disability before the age of 30 can reasonably expect to live to late life. Tens of thousands of persons with spinal cord injury, polio, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions are now aging with a disability.

Current research and clinical experience indicate that chronic disability is not stable over the life span. Many, if not most individuals will experience major changes in health, function, and psychosocial status as they age. These changes appear earlier than in non-disabled persons and suggest a picture that some consider "premature aging". People who are aging with a disability report new problems with pain, loss of endurance, changes in employment, discouragement, and worry. These changes also have a major impact on family and friends.

Research on these topics has been ongoing since only the early 1980’s. Unless we have better diagnostic tools, better understanding of the processes involved in these changes, and better ideas of what to do and how to help, we won’t be able to reduce the impact of aging on people who have a disability.



Help Those That Helped You Grow Up




The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with a Disability is one of two rehabilitation centers. The second Center is the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Spinal Cord Injury.

Both Centers investigate the impact of  aging upon persons with a disability, examining issues such as health changes, psychological reactions,  family needs,   and job accommodation. Our ability to offer the best senior home care in Lutz.  These centers specialize in new research on aging with disability and training seminars provided to physicians, direct service professionals and consumers. We help individuals Live at Home! Types of disabilities included in our research are polio and post-polio syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, stroke and others. 

Funding for these centers has been  provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) through the U.S. Department of Education.

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