We're still here: The implications of aging with a disability

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Low, Jennifer
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Jennifer Margrett
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Theses & dissertations (Interdisciplinary)

Those who call themselves part of the disability community and those who advocate for them have seen many changes in the last forty years. Persons with intellectual disabilities are living longer, thus the need for caregiving by family or agencies. The author addresses the need for person-centered planning, which is a critical issue. Specifically, the author focuses on the following: (a) the definition of person-centered planning, (b) service agency use of this approach, (c) potential detriments if this approach is not used, and (d) the benefits of implementing a person-centered planning approach with persons who have a disability. An agency scan was conducted to examine services provided to persons with intellectual disabilities as they impact service use and planning for the future. Specifically, the author examined services available to assist individuals with disabilities to be independent individuals, as well as services that can help parents plan for the future. The author spoke with area agencies about the services they provide. What services are available? How do they implement these services? Is person-centered planning being used in their agency? Following review of agency services, the author describes two interviews with guardians of persons with intellectual disabilities. The goal was to interview area parents or guardians in order to identify areas of greatest need from their perspective. Are local services adequate for them? Do guardians know about all of the services available to them? Are there areas where services could be better? Are there services that are needed that are not present? There is still work left to do in the area of person-centered planning and agency services. A way needs to be found to support agencies through community fundraisers and volunteering. Parents and guardians need to work hand-in-hand to make sure the individual with an intellectual disability is getting the services they need. Parents and guardians need to speak up to make sure individuals are being listened to, that their wishes are being honored on a daily basis.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018