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Caregiving: Adults with Developmental Disabilities

  • By: Beth Marks & Jasmina Sisirak
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Families of individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) and support persons have a pivotal role in meeting the care and support needs of adults with DD as they age. Ensuring health-related services and support for people with DD requires an understanding of health issues and available resources.

Aging with a Disability

Individuals with DD living in community settings increasingly enjoy similar life spans as the general population. For individuals with a variety of syndromes and conditions—including Down syndrome, severe intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, conditions requiring wheelchairs and assistance with feeding or dressing—life expectancies are lower. Additionally, although many health concerns are similar to those of nondisabled peers, persons with DD have health issues related to the convergence of biological factors associated with their disability and the ...

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