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Family Caregiving: Caring for Children, Adults, and Elders with Developmental Disabilities

  • By: Joan S. Grant & Norman Lee Keltner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that developmental disabilities are severe chronic conditions involving physical and/or mental impairments that begin before 22 years of age. People with developmental disabilities (PWDD) often have problems with language, mobility, learning, self-care, and independent living. Caring for children, adults, and elders with developmental disorders often extends over a lifetime, and family caregivers describe caregiving demands in the home as challenging and even overwhelming at times. This entry describes stressors commonly encountered by family caregivers in caring for children, adults, and elders with developmental disabilities. Emphasis is on interventions or support services to lessen these stressors and improve the physiological and psychosocial well-being of these family caregivers.

Historical Context

The majority of PWDD live with their family. The remaining live ...

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