The purpose of this discussion paper first published in December 2015 is to begin to unpick some of the issues which come to the fore when thinking about the mutuality of care (Williams & Robinson, 2001) that an increasing number of families are experiencing as our population ages. It is not sufficient to state that people with intellectual disabilities only receive care. There are an increasing number of instances where aging parents are coming to rely on the children for whom they previously acted as Family Carer for the personal care, company and practical assistance that is the hallmark of being a Family Carer.
This paper discusses the demographic changes – which have occurred for many different reasons – contributing to this changing care landscape across the intellectual disability sector in Ireland in the 21st century. A search of the literature, and discussion with those providing support to families where there is an intellectual disability, highlights an increase in the number of older people with intellectual disability who are supporting and providing care to a parent. What then are some of the challenges facing health and social care services and families themselves as people with intellectual disabilities move from being “cared for” to providing the support which all Family Carers provide?
Theme Changing the mindset
Authors Care Alliance Ireland