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

ABSTRACT 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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a distressing type of problem behavior that may be exhibited in individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDs). This article provides an overview of SIB, its underlying causes and functions, as well as other key variables associated with its manifestation. Adults with IDs are routinely living longer. Given this rapidly emerging and expanding population, special attention is given to SIB in aging adults with IDs that may result from age-related risk factors. Risks include increasing and unresolved health issues, physical changes, declining physical abilities, transitions to new residential environments, and the potential for experiencing loss and bereavement. The article concludes with practice implications for social workers who may encounter older individuals with IDs and SIB.
    Social work 07/2013; 58(3):213-21. · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Federal and state efforts to rebalance long-term services and supports (LTSS) in favor of home and community based over institutional settings has helped create structural bridges between the historically separated aging and disability LTSS networks by integrating and/or linking aging and disability systems. These changes present new opportunities to study bridging mechanisms and program related outcomes at national and local levels through federally sponsored LTSS initiatives termed Rebalancing programs. Rebalancing programs also offer opportunities to explore and understand the capacity of LTSS networks (age integrated or linked aging and disability systems) to serve aging with disability populations, persons who live with long-term chronic conditions or impairments such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, intellectual or developmental disabilities. To date, there is limited evidence based LTSS program and practice knowledge about this heterogeneous population such as met and unmet needs or interventions to support healthy aging. Efforts that center on bridging the larger fields of aging and disability in order to build new knowledge and engage in knowledge translation and translational research are critical for building capacity to support persons aging with disability in LTSS. Generating the investment in bridging aging and disability research across stakeholder group, including researchers and funders, is vital for these efforts.
    Disability and Health Journal 01/2014; 7(1 Suppl):S51-9. · 1.50 Impact Factor