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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Older Adults as Caregivers to Persons With Developmental Disabilities

Older Adults as Caregivers to Persons With Developmental Disabilities

(p.363) 30 Older Adults as Caregivers to Persons With Developmental Disabilities
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Philip Mccallion

Oxford University Press

The success that the aging of persons with developmental disabilities (DD) represents also means challenges for families who must provide longer term and new forms of care. In addition, traditional views of family caregivers, particularly older parents as caregivers, must be expanded to include other relatives, such as siblings and grandparents. The aging of persons with DD and their caregivers requires all social workers to renew perspectives, tools, and approaches. The increasing complexity of life history and experiences, health needs, and life transitions also require that a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective be embraced. Drawing on the related research and practice literatures, this chapter outlines key demographic issues for adults with DD and their families, and describes changing family caregiving constellations. Suggestions are offered for the assessment and management of life transitions, and of grief and bereavement issues that are increasingly a feature of the older years of both caregivers and persons with DD.

Keywords:   aging, elderly, developmental disabilities, social work practice, caregivers, caregivers

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