Life expectancy for both sexes in Australia exceeds 80 years, with individuals with intellectual disability also increasingly living into older age. Investigations around ageing with an intellectual disability have increased substantially in the past three decades. However, a research gap continued to exist regarding the detection of ageing issues in this cohort of people- particularly in rural areas where access to specialist support continued to be limited. It is important to gather information of the issues and experiences of people who are ageing with and without a life-long, intellectual or developmental disability and provide support to those who are able to age-in-place.
A four year ARC Project ‘Keeping my Place in the Community: Achieving Successful Ageing-in-Place for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ (2014-2017) is being led by Professor Rafat Hussain (CRAHW), with colleagues from the University of Sydney, University of New England and University of Illinois. This research aims to explore existing gaps in policies and practice with relation to ageing and disability, the disparities in relation to urban and rural settings, and finding and developing best practice for organisations. This includes work on the main signs of ageing in rural people with and without intellectual disability and perceptions of staff supporting older adults or age peers with lifelong intellectual disability.
Rafat Hussain, Trevor Parmenter, Matthew Janicki and Marie Knox (2014-2017). Keeping my Place in the Community: Achieving Successful Ageing-in-Place for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. $344,500 (ARC Linkage Grant).