Service providers' perceptions of active ageing among older adults with lifelong intellectual disabilities

Buys, Laurie, Aird, Rosemary, & Miller, Evonne (2011) Service providers' perceptions of active ageing among older adults with lifelong intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56(12), pp. 1133-1147.

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Background: Considerable attention is currently being directed towards both active ageing and the revising of standards for disability services within Australia and internationally. Yet, to date, no consideration appears to have been given to ways to promote active ageing among older adults with intellectual disabilities.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 Australian professional direct-care support staff (service providers) about their perceptions of ageing among older adults with lifelong intellectual disabilities and what active ageing might entail for an individual from this population who is currently under their care, in both the present and future. Data were analysed against the six core World Health Organization active ageing outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.

Results: Service providers appeared to be strongly focused on encouraging active ageing among their clients. However, their perceptions of the individual characteristics, circumstances and experiences of older adults with intellectual disabilities for whom they care suggest that active ageing principles need to be applied to this group in a way that considers both their individual and diverse needs, particularly with respect to them transitioning from day services, employment or voluntary work to reduced activity, and finally to aged care facilities. The appropriateness of this group being placed in nursing homes in old age was also questioned.

Conclusion: Direct-care staff of older adults with intellectual disabilities have a vital role to play in encouraging and facilitating active ageing, as well as informing strategies that need to be implemented to ensure appropriate care for this diverse group as they proceed to old age.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 47696
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Ageing, Carers, Disability Services, Intellectual Disability, Retirement
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2011.01500.x
ISSN: 0964-2633
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Care for Disabled (111703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Social Policy (160512)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2011 00:39
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2013 22:38

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