I do not think the future holds a scenario where people will be bed-ridden.
I feel that with assistant robots and advanced (small) personal transports people will be able to remain mobile and independent for much longer. If the society they live in is not too violent or corrupted, these people may also be able to be part of mainstream society.
Robots on the factory floor
Honda Walking Assist Device
Walking tall with robotic legs
Hope for parents–robotic legs
Honda Develops New Personal Mobility Device: U3-X
Honda’s self-balancing U3-X electric unicycle–I’ve seen one of these embedded in a car door because they are so small.
I also feel that public transport will also change and with that will come a new age for the elderly and disabled, who can take their personal transports (and possibly robots) with them.
Personal Rapid Trasport
It is often thought that bowl problems (defecating and lack of control of urination) and general hygiene issues will stop people from from being mobile or participating in main stream society.
Possibly new technologies will also assist in reducing such problems.
While I’m not fully up to date on this (although I know astronauts and possibly people that will live on the moon or mars will need to have the science to do without a toilet for long periods of time if they wear protective environmental suits–e.g. space suits), I feel the technology to process our human wastes in a socially acceptable way will become more advanced. Such processes can be built into environmental suits (e.g. space suits), robotic legs, one-wheel transports or even the current electrical transports the elderly, infirm and disabled (en-abled) use today. With robotic legs, U3-X electric unicycle and personal (publicly owned) rapid transports such incontinence devices might be large, heavier and do a better job (using new technologies).
Shortened Link To This Article: The future of mobility for the disabled & elderly: http://bit.ly/hI4zQf