Perspectives on ageing with a learning disability

Perspectives on ageing with a learning disability*

by Cally Ward

See the report here.


Everyone gets older. We celebrate getting older every year with our birthday. Some things are good about getting older. Some things are difficult about getting older. It is different for everybody.
(Pat, Growing Older with a Learning Disability group member)

This paper explores what people with learning disabilities and their families have to say about getting older, their experiences and feelings, and what is most important to them in later life.

Older people with learning disabilities are a diverse group. Each individual comes to later life with his or her own unique life experiences and hopes and fears for the future. Their needs for community support and services vary greatly. Chronological age is often used as a trigger to access services and support for older people. However, this is not a useful indicator of a person’s age-related needs. Some people in their 50s with chronic health conditions can feel prematurely old and have restricted lifestyles, whilst other people in their 80s and 90s can still be robust, active and very healthy. It is well evidenced that people with learning disabilities have high levels of unmet health needs as a result of the inequalities they have experienced in the health system (Bigby, 2004; Bigby, 2010). This puts them at risk of increased health problems in later life. Continue reading

* Learning Disabilities is the UK term for Intellectual Disabilities.

This entry was posted in English.

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