Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Research Library

The HMinfo Research Library contains an in-depth collection of materials on home modifications and related subjects.

The Research Library does not lend books and other items. Under special circumstances, requests to use the library may be made by emailing .

Library Search


The use of mobility related devices by older individuals with developmental disabilities living in community residences

Technology and Disability

Author: De Mello, M., Mann, W.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1995


The proportion of population over the age of 65 is increasing and this includes persons with developmental disabilities. Impaired mobility is often the result of the combined effects of ageing, chronic disease, and developmental disability. There has been virtually no research on the interaction of these factors on mobility. Nor has there been a focus on mobility realted assistive devices that might increase independence and safety and improve quality of life for older persons with developmental disabilities. This study investigated the types of ambulation problems experienced by older persons with developmental disabilities and their use of mobility devices. The sample included 27 persons over the age of 60 with devlopmental disabilities living in community residences in western New York. All but one used a walker and all had difficulty in walking. Videotapes of respondents using their walkers were reviewed by an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. The walker was the physical device most commonly used. Reasons for use included: skeletal problems, muscle weakness, balance problems, and prevention of injuries to lower extremities. In most cases the physical therapist recommended the device and provided training and follow-up. Caregivers played an important role in ensuring proper use of the device. No accessibility problems were found in the community residences. These residences provided a social environment that fostered the use of walkers. The high level of consumer satisfaction with the walkers (93% were satisfied with their walkers) suggests effective service delivery for this population.

Further Details

Publish Dates: 1995
Full Title: Technology and Disability
Pages: 275-285
Volume: 4
Issue: 1995
Accession Number: 20.11.02
Research Notes: ILL request made 10/09/2013 Electronic copy added 17/09/2013
Keywords: North Americaoldermobilityassistive devicesafety improvement
Reads: 187