Growing Health Disparities for Persons Who Are Aging With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: The Social Work Linchpin

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642, USA.
Journal of Gerontological Social Work 02/2012; 55(2):175-90. DOI: 10.1080/01634372.2011.644030
Source: PubMed


Similar to the general population, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are living into their 70s and beyond. Health care disparities have been well-documented for this vulnerable and underserved population. Social workers are often responsible for assessment, coordination of care, and negotiation of needed services for people with IDD. This article explores the challenges facing social workers in meeting the growing health and social needs of aging adults with IDD and their families. Trends in social work practice and gaps in education are discussed as they relate to addressing and reducing current health disparities.

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Available from: Laura M Robinson, Apr 07, 2015
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    • "A pronounced need for end-of-life services for this population is becoming evident, especially in ADS which serve a large segment of this population. Research literature in the IDD field has highlighted the pervasive stigmatization and disadvantages faced by persons with IDD (Friedman et al., 1999; Neri & Kroll, 2003; Robinson et al., 2012; Scheer et al., 2003; Tuffrey-Wijne, 2003). Therefore, increased attention must be awarded to health-care issues affecting individuals with IDD. "
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    ABSTRACT: While end-of-life issues are increasingly gaining more attention, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to receive significantly less consideration in research, education, and clinical practice compared with the general population. This is growing a concern especially since the sheer number of persons aging with IDD is expected to double in the next 17 years. Furthermore, policies are shifting to reflect a preference for home and community-based services as an alternative to institutionalization, and it becomes evident that adult day services (ADS) are ideal settings for receipt of end-of-life care, especially among individuals with IDD. However, end-of-life care and advance planning most commonly occur in long-term care settings for the general population, and have historically been less of a priority in ADS and residential services for people with IDD. This paper discusses how ADS may be a great pathway for delivering end-of life care for the IDD population and will explore both the development of a training curriculum intervention with ADS and hospice/palliative care providers as well as report findings from a pilot of the training curriculum. Implications and recommendations will also be examined.
    OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying 03/2015; 70(4). DOI:10.1177/0030222815573724 · 0.44 Impact Factor
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    • "on with - in the agency and with caregivers enables quick responses to issues arising and amelioration of problems . Communication could also involve a meeting of a healthcare professional and staff members to discuss the specific information to be related to the provider during the office visit ( Bishop et al . , 2013 ; Bishop & Lucchino , 2010 ; Robinson et al . , 2012 ; Service et al . , 2006 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) are living into old age. Though this indicates the positive effects of improved health care and quality of life, the end result is that more adults with ID are and will be experiencing age-related health problems and also exhibiting symptoms of cognitive impairment and decline, some attributable to dementia. Early symptoms of dementia can be subtle and in adults with ID are often masked by their lifelong cognitive impairment, combined with the benign effects of aging. A challenge for caregivers is to recognize and communicate symptoms, as well as find appropriate practitioners familiar with the medical issues presented by aging adults with lifelong disabilities. Noting changes in behavior and function and raising suspicions with a healthcare practitioner, during routine or ad hoc visits, can help focus the examination and potentially validate that the decline is the result of the onset or progression of dementia. It can also help in ruling out reversible conditions that may have similar presentation of symptoms typical for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. To enable caregivers, whether family members or staff, to prepare for and advocate during health visits, the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices has developed guidelines and recommendations for dementia-related health advocacy preparation and assistance that can be undertaken by provider and advocacy organizations.
    Intellectual and developmental disabilities 02/2015; 53(1):2-29. DOI:10.1352/1934-9556-53.1.2 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    • "Holistic assessment that aims to identify both physical health problems and environmental factors that might contribute to the etiology of mental health problems is fundamental (15–17). "
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid growth in the number of individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) along with their increased longevity present challenges to those concerned about health and well-being of this unique population. While much is known about health promotion and disease prevention in the general geriatric population, far less is known about those in older adults with IDD. Effective and efficient health promotion and disease prevention strategies need to be developed and implemented for improving the health and quality of life of older adults living with IDD. This is considered to be challenging given the continued shrinkage in the overall health care and welfare system services due to the cut in the governmental budget in some of the western countries. The ideal health promotion and disease prevention strategies for older adults with IDD should be tailored to the individuals' health risks, address primary and secondary disease prevention, and prevent avoidable impairments that cause premature institutionalization. Domains of intervention should include cognitive, mental and physical health, accommodations, workplace considerations, assistive technology, recreational activities, and nutrition.
    Frontiers in Public Health 04/2014; 2:31. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00031
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