The housing and support needs of people with an intellectual disability into older age

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Publication details

Shaw, K, Cartwright, C & Craig, JE 2011, 'The housing and support needs of people with an intellectual disability into older age', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 55, no. 9, pp. 895-903.

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Background: People with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are growing older as a population cohort. Many live at home with family members who are their carers but who are also becoming older and less able to provide care. The housing and support preferences of people with IDs and their carers into older age are poorly characterised in the literature.

Methods: Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 15 people with IDs who work in supported employment and with 10 family members who care for adults with IDs. Data were thematically analysed independently by two researchers.

Results: The major themes that emerged were as follows: (1) living arrangements; (2) housing preferences; (3) ageing in place; and (4) transition from informal to formal housing and support services.

Conclusions: Participants with an ID and their carers want housing and support that enable people with an ID to maintain and enhance their social networks with their peers as they grow older and require transition to formal housing and support services, and to be able to ‘age in place’. A preference was expressed for models of housing that provide the opportunity for people with an ID to live in close proximity to their peers and in large groups in the community rather than in small, dispersed community housing.

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