The Disabled in the Polish Society
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The purpose of the article is to present social determinants of age-related disability derived from the actual definition of disability according to World Health Organization. This definition emphasizes social causes of disability determined not solely by physical impairment but also by influence of physical and social environment. The environmental characteristics may lead to minimization or intensification of experienced impairment effects. Similarly in the case of disabled people in older age some aspects of social life may further limit their physical ability or even play a dominant role in the process of premature and pathological aging, what is confirmed by richly cited research studies in this area. The major attention was paid to: feeling of loneliness of seniors, social prejudices and discrimination because of age, overprotective attitudes, social unawareness about the reality of biopsychosocial condition in older age or insufficient adaptation of physical environment not satisfying older people needs. The study is completed by the problem of positive social support in the area of the complex functioning of the aged.
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