Advancing a research agenda for bridging ageing and disability

Luis Salvador-Carulla, Michelle Putnam, Tamar Heller
2012 International Journal of Integrated Care  
Research on ageing with disability dates back more than four decades. However, the evidence base supporting practice and policy across the fields of ageing and disabilities remains small in virtually all disciplines. In part, this can be attributed to the bifurcation of ageing and disability research, but it is also linked to the lack of a structural framework that supports bridging the areas of ageing and disability and the very few researchers working within these boundaries. In the past
more » ... s. In the past decade, declarations on the need to bridge ageing and disability have been forwarded [1] [2] [3] , and the Toronto Declaration [4] now adds its voice from a global perspective. Despite the prior calls, advancement in bridging ageing and disability has been limited. The Toronto Declaration seeks to amplify the call for more integrative and interdisciplinary research and for effective knowledge transfer and translation of research into tangible outcomes for persons ageing with disabilities, their families, and their communities. In addition, it specifies the need for dedicated funding for this work and the inclusion of people with disabilities, of all ages, and their families in this work. Research and knowledge transfer related to bridging ageing and disability involves complex challenges, engages very different stakeholders, including users, researchers, practice professionals, managers and policy-makers, and should apply novel models of care and research, as well as new concepts and techniques of analysis that require a substantial effort to be properly understood. Within this context this tentative research agenda is more illustrative than directive. It mentions fields that may be explored, some approaches that can be followed, and provides some key references to guide the reader in this quest. Advancing research The Toronto Declaration delineates five priority areas for bridging ageing and disability knowledge, policy, and practice: 1) health and well-being, 2) inclusion, participation, and community, 3) long-term supports and services, 4) income security, and 5) the science of bridging. These areas are not discipline specific, but require engagement by research, practice, policy and consumer experts across domains of knowledge and experience. The Toronto Declaration [4] describes the global relevance of bridging knowledge in these areas and sets the overall purpose of bridging as "to improve efficiency, equity of care, inclusion and
doi:10.5334/ijic.1085 fatcat:wqsodil6zvfijhu4d6g6c6rpzy