Staying Healthy and Connecting with Neighbors May Help People with Mobility Disabilities Stay Involved in Their Communities

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People with mobility disabilities have difficulty standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Because of such difficulty, they may have trouble participating in recreational, social, civic, or religious activities in their communities. The participation limitation may stem from physical problems such as pain or fatigue, from environmental barriers like living in areas without public transportation, or both. People with mobility disabilities may have an easier time participating in their communities if they live in safe and well-connected cohesive neighborhoods where neighbors help each other, and if they have high self-efficacy– a belief in themselves and their ability to manage life’s demands. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at the connections between health and function, neighborhood supports, self-efficacy, and community participation for people with mobility disabilities. The researchers wanted to find out which types of community activities people with mobility disabilities consider most important, and how their health and function, neighborhood supports, and self-efficacy affect their community participation.

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