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Health Care for Adults Aging with IDD

Wed, 21 Aug, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Time Zone: America/New_York
Local Time: Wed, 21 Aug, 2013 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Presenter:  Jennifer Baumbusch, RN, PhD

The Canadian research project Examining the Organization of Healthcare for Aging Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, funded by the Vancouver Foundation, examines the implementation of healthcare policies into practice for adults aging with intellectual disabilities. In B.C., deinstitutionalization of persons with ID occurred decades ago and people aging with intellectual disabilities have lived in various community settings for years. Health Services for Community Living (HSCL) is a unique B.C. provincial program established following the closure of large institutions to specifically address the healthcare needs of people with ID living in the community. This project aimed to better understand the consequences of policies for those who experience them and begin to address health disparities experienced by adults aging with ID in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The study examined policy-practice gaps in the implementation of HSCL and other relevant services and policies across five regional health authorities. The team established and received input on study procedures from a community advisory committee. Data and demographic information was collected through policy analyses and interviews or focus groups held with various different groups of people.  Findings focus on several key areas: 1) the practical policy implications of transitioning from “Person with Disabilities” to “Senior Citizen” status; 2) the lack of knowledge among healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care for this population; 3) the availability of informal supports for aging parents and siblings; and 4) end of life care. Implications from this study include a need to integrate content into healthcare professional programs and continuing education, as well as specific policy changes required to support adults with intellectual disabilities as they experience increasing age and frailty.

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