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Date: October 1, 2021

Author: Robert Kreek

The UN established the International Day of Older Persons in 1990. The day is meant to bring awareness to older adults’ issues, such as health, feeling included, and remaining active despite worsening health or a disability.

Here are five older adults who did not let their health or disability slow them down. Celebrate their accomplishments and show your parents that with a helping hand, they can be just as vital.

Rosa May Billinghurst

As a child, Rosa May Billinghurst contracted polio and required a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She became a suffragette that helped bring about the right of women to vote in England. Through the protests she participated in, the Parliament Act 1918 (Qualification of Women) was enacted.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison lost his hearing after going through scarlet fever as a child. Rather than let the loss of hearing keep him from succeeding, he embraced being able to shut others out and focus entirely on his studies. It’s that focus that helped him advance his experiments and theories on electricity.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in his 20s and told he wouldn’t live more than a few years. They were wrong as he lived with ALS for over 50 years. He spent that time in a wheelchair and was unable to speak without technology, but it didn’t keep him from spreading his knowledge as a theoretical physicist.

John Nash

John Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was almost 30 years old. Not slowed by his mental illness, he came up with mathematical and economic theories that would win him a Nobel Memorial Prize in 1994 and an Abel Prize in 2015. Nash was instrumental in real algebraic geometry and the singularity theory. The movie "A Beautiful Mind" shows all that he accomplished in his lifetime.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Already deeply established in politics, FDR was 39 when he became ill and paralyzed during a family vacation. Rather than retire, he learned to use leg braces in public and rely on a wheelchair in private.

Despite his lack of full mobility, he was embraced for being disabled and won the presidency from 1933 to 1945. During his presidency, he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which helped bring about vaccination for polio.

Would your mom and dad benefit from home care assistance? It’s time to discuss what would help them remain independent. Call a home care assistance specialist and ask about popular services like transportation, companionship, and housekeeping.

Date: October 1, 2021