An analysis of accommodation needs of adults with an intellectual disability in Toowoomba and surrounding areas

Eley, D., Hegney, D. G. and Boyes, J. (2006) An analysis of accommodation needs of adults with an intellectual disability in Toowoomba and surrounding areas Toowoomba, Australia: Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health, USQ

Author Eley, D.
Hegney, D. G.
Boyes, J.
Title of report An analysis of accommodation needs of adults with an intellectual disability in Toowoomba and surrounding areas
Publication date 2006
ISBN 0909756872
Publisher Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health, USQ
Place of publication Toowoomba, Australia
Total pages 95
Collection year 2006
Subjects 321212 Care for Disabled
750310 Carers development and welfare (i.e. carers for the aged, disabled)
K
Abstract/Summary Introduction The objective of this study was to analyse the accommodation needs of people with intellectual disability over the age of 18 years in Toowoomba and contiguous shires. In 2004, a group of carers established Toowoomba Intellectual Disability Support Association (TIDSA) to address the issue of the lack of supported accommodation for people with intellectual disability over the age of 18 and the concerns of ageing carers. The Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health (CRRAH) was engaged by TIDSA to ascertain this need and undertook a research project funded by the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund. While data specifically relating to people with intellectual disability and their carers are difficult to obtain, the Australian Bureau of Statistics report that carers of people with a disability are more likely to be female and at least 65 years of age. Projections by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) show that disability rates are increasing and carer rates are decreasing. Thus the problem of appropriate support to the increasing number of ageing carers and those who they care for will be a major challenge to policy makers and is an issue of immediate concern. In general, what was once the norm of accommodating people with intellectual disability in large institutions is now changing to accommodating into community-based residences (Annison, 2000; Young, Ashman, Sigafoos, & Grevell, 2001). However, in Toowoomba and contiguous shires, TIDSA have noted that the availability of suitable accommodation for people with intellectual disability over the age of 18 years is declining with no new options available in an environment of increasing demand. Most effort seemed to be directed towards crisis provision. Method This study employed two phases of data gathering, the first being the distribution of a questionnaire through local service providers and upon individual request to the carers of people with intellectual disability over the age of 18. The questionnaire comprised of Likert-type items intended to measure various aspects of current and future accommodation issues. Most questions were followed with space for free-response comments to provide the opportunity for carers to further clarify and expand on their responses. The second phase comprised semi-structured interviews conducted with ten carers and ten people with intellectual disability who had participated in the Phase One questionnaire. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis where major themes were explored. Results Age and gender Carer participants in this study totalled 150. The mean age of these carers was 61.5 years and ranged from 40 – 91 years. Females comprised 78% of the sample (mean age = 61.49; range from 40-91) and 22% were male (mean age = 61.7 range from 43-81). The mean age of people with intellectual disability in our study was 37.2 years ranging from 18 – 79 years with 40% female (mean age = 39.5; range from 19-79) and 60% male (mean age = 35.6; range from 18-59). The average age of carers caring for a person over the age of 18 who is living at home is 61 years. The average age of the carer who cares for a person who is living away from home is 62 years. The overall age range of both these groups of carers is between 40 and 81 years. The oldest group of carers (mean age = 70 years) were those where the person with intellectual disability lives away from home in a large residential facility. Almost one quarter of people with an intellectual disability who currently live at home is cared for by one primary carer and this is almost exclusively a parent.

 
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 13:49:06 EST