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Citizenship and aging with CP

Aging with CP demands on the capacity of adults with CP to adapt, but also requires care to be more sensitive to the context, expertise and autonomy of adults with CP.

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Nineteen adults participated (mean age (SD) 57.8 (9.4) years (range 44-79), six men). From the analysis four themes emerged: (a) Meanings of citizenship; (b) Citizenship: Facilitator and barriers; (c) Paradoxes of support and participation; and (d) Future. Furthermore, next to the ability to participate in society without restrictions, sense of belonging was reported to be an important aspect of ‘meanings of citizenship’. To support physical activity and dealing with the impact of aging with CP on daily life, the physiotherapist was perceived to be an important health professional. Complex regulations regarding healthcare and support services and aging affected citizenship negatively.

Middle-aged and older adults with CP view citizenship as the ability to participate and as belonging to society. To optimize their citizenship the challenges and individual needs must be seen and supported by person-centered rehabilitation and support services. Simplification of complex regulations of healthcare and services can further add to this optimization.

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