The Elderly Caregiver: Caring for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

“By bringing together contributions from the fields of gerontology and developmental disabilities, the editor of this volume makes an important statement about the need for collaborative and multidisciplinary research to be conducted in this area, and for the developmental disabilities service system and the aging network to work together to support these caregivers and their family members with developmental disabilities.” –American Journal on Mental Retardation The shift from institutional to community-based care for individuals with developmental disabilities and their increase in longevity has resulted in more and more elderly serving as primary caregivers for adults with developmental disabilities. The Elderly Caregiver addresses the predominate issues and concerns confronting these older caregivers. By bringing together the empirical work of researchers from a variety of disciplines, this volume provides insight into the physical, psychological, and social needs of this growing segment of the population. Contributors explore the needs of elderly parents caring for adult children with mental retardation, changes in their caregiving activities, the increasing burden of caregiving, and the ordeal of facing their own frailties while planning future out-of-home placement for their children. Additional chapters focus on the needs of caregivers of aging adults with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Finally, case management is examined from the perceptions of family members as well as case managers themselves. A concluding chapter draws together the implications for the future directions for practice, policy, and research. Unique in its presentation, The Elderly Caregiver is invaluable to researchers, practitioners and advanced students in aging, health/rehabilitation, social work, and family studies. “Not only does the author provide insight into some of the physical, social, and psychological needs of these [developmentally disabled] adults, she explores certain needs of the elderly parents who are facing their own aging problems. This accessible book is geared for caregivers, providers, family members, and professionals involved with older adults who have developmental disabilities. … This book offers highly practical advice of use to a wide variety of readers, including the caregivers, professionals, and health care providers concerned with adults having these disabilities.” –Academic Library Book Review “In addition to enlightening the reader with its contemporary knowledge of the field, the text is well organized and includes some of the most impressive empirical work conducted in this area. As well, it provides some good suggestions for future research. … The work provides a comprehensive perspective on family caregivers, aging caregivers, and the aging of people with developmental disabilities who are recipients of care. … At a time when numerous books on deinstitutionalization, community care of the mentally ill, and the intellectually impaired are appearing on the market, it is a great pleasure to see a book that is well-rounded. … I recommend this book as a valuable text for researchers, practitioners, and students of gerontology. Further, it will serve as an invaluable book for caregivers themselves. It has undoubtedly made a significant contribution in the field.” –The Canadian Health Psychologist “…This collection fills a significant unmet need, and can be related to other caregiving situations. It is an up-to-date and very readable book, for practitioners and policy makers as well as researchers and educators. Families should also find it useful. … The topic is a timely example of the need for service integration in our aging society. This collection helps to address their needs and those of their children by applying theory, suggesting additional research, and making specific practice and policy recommendations.” –Contemporary Gerontology

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