Impact Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

From the Editors

What can be done today to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are aging?” That’s the focus of this issue of Impact. The articles in these pages give a variety of responses to the question. From self-advocates we hear of the importance of having opportunities to be active participants in their communities, to be listened to as they speak up for themselves, and to continue to pursue their own goals and dreams for their lives. From siblings we hear about the necessity to respond to the concerns that keep them awake at night as they deal with the aging of all their family members, including parents who may have been primary caregivers for their brothers or sisters with disabilities. From researchers we hear of the policy and service issues that need to be addressed as the number of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities over 60 years of age is projected to grow to 1.2 million in the next 20 years. And we hear from practitioners as they describe some of the promising approaches to ensuring quality service and supports that address the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our hope is that readers of this issue will find some fresh perspectives and information that will be useful to them as they journey with the aging adults with disabilities who are in their lives.