Aging perceptions in an intellectual/developmental disability context: A multi-level analysis
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The longevity of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) has steadily increased over the past two decades, mirroring similar patterns of the overall population. However, people with I/DD are more likely to experience premature and advanced aging compared to the general public. Thus, it is important to understand how people aging with I/DD view and experience the aging process so that research, systems, and policies can appropriately support this group as they age. The purpose of this current study was to: a) explore how people aging with I/DD in group homes perceive their aging process and b) describe aging perceptions held by management and direct support staff (M/DSS) to explore how aging perceptions may affect the assistance provided to people aging with I/DD in group homes. Seventy participants (35 I/DD, 35 M/DSS) provided photovoice and interview data across six group homes in Chicago, IL. Data were analyzed through content analysis and triangulation. Emergent themes included: Predominant negative age stereotypes; limited personal experiences with aging; lack of formal aging training/education of M/DDS; and supportive healthy aging networks between people with I/DD and M/DSS personnel. Findings contribute to an important, yet unexplored, area of applied health research that focuses on the influence of negative aging perceptions on healthy aging among people with I/DD within group homes settings. Future research should confirm these findings to inform the development of effective strategies designed to promote healthy aging in group home settings for people with I/DD.
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Describe and discuss how people aging with I/DD understand the aging process.
Describe and discuss aging perceptions held by management and direct support staff to explore how aging perceptions may affect the assistance provided to people aging with I/DD in group homes.
Keyword(s): Disabilities, Health Promotion and Education
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in each aspect of this study from designing the project to collecting data and analyzing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.