The purpose of this paper is to bring greater awareness of important aspects of the growing population of elderly – that is, people 65 years of age and older with a developmental disability. The US census projects that by the year 2030 the population of individuals aged 65 and over will reach approximately 73,000,000. This projection accounts for both males and females. More importantly, it also accounts for those with developmental disabilities. Because of the increase in life-expectancy it is not out of the realm of reality that people with develpmental disabilities work longer, thus, contributing more into the profit driven society, more importantly, making a relevant argument of their abilities and continued significance to society, despite their disability.
Nevertheless, an argument can be made that older people with developmental disabilities (DD) experience social problems far greater when compared to the elderly who are absent from developmental disabilities. Although both groups experience economic, political, medical, and familial issues, each one of these issues are compounded by the individuals disability. For example, although the life expectancy has increased, individuals who have Down syndrome have earlier occurances of dementia (Lightfoot, 2006, p. 56).
In addition, with respect to familial issues, people with DD who live with his or her parent well into old age are faced with the reality of seperation from his or her elderly parent. This dysfunction of displacement may facilitate a pathway of lost sense of self and purpose along with lonliness and despair for both the parent and person with DD. Yet, old age, coupled with a disability that has become either acute or chronic, may prove too...
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... of teh research for social work. Health & Social Work, 29(3), 219-244.
Lightfoot, E. (2006). Older adults with developmental disabilities. In B. Berkman, & S. D'Ambruoso, Social Work in Health and Aging (pp. 53-63). New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
NASW. (1999). Code of ethics of the national association of social workers. Washington, DC: National Association. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/Code/code.asp
O'Shaughnessy, C. V. (2011). The aging services network: Serving a vulnerable and growing elderly population in tough economic times. Retrieved from https://www.nhpf.org/uploads/announcements/BP83_AgingServices_12-13-11.pdf
Winterton, R., Warburton, J., & Oppenheimer, M. (2012). The future for meal on wheels? Reviewing innovative approaches to meal provision for ageing populations. International Journal of Social Welfare, 141-151.
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