Growing Older in Community – Aging

Aging ImageAs a result of the de-institutionalization of people into community living environments over 27 years ago, we now have, for the first time, a growing population of individuals with developmental disabilities who are aging in community.

Understanding and providing what they need to age with safety and dignity in community is not something we as an organization or a broader community have done before.

The richer quality of life offered by community living is resulting in longer lives for many people. Like the general population, these individuals are likely to become more vulnerable and develop more complex care needs as they get older. Some people with developmental disabilities may also experience the onset of age-related challenges earlier than the general population. People’s needs, strenghts and concerns changes as they get older. Many middle-aged individuals are living with family members of caregivers who may not be able to continue to care for them as they themselves age.

Aging Resources

With a growing population of aging individuals with development disabilities, CLBC has developed new resources, including a new website, to support individuals and caregivers.

The new website,, provides helpful tips and resources to assist in better planning for aging, including:

  • A list of questions to ask your doctor and things to anticipate or think about before a doctor’s appointment.
  • A link to the Canadian consensus guidelines for caring for people with diverse abilities.
  • Tips for self-advocates including how to communicate with your doctor and work together to plan for healthy aging.
  • Tips for health professionals on how to make a doctor’s office fully accessible, how to best work with patients with diverse abilities and how to maintain an ongoing healthy aging program.

In addition to the website, CLBC has created two additional resources aimed to empower and help bring positive changes to the health and care of aging adults with developmental disabilities. These tools are:

  • Aging with a Developmental Disability – a planning guide for families and others that support adults with developmental disabilities who are getting older to help with planning for the future.

If you have any questions, please email

CLBC Strategy on Aging

The challenges and opportunities that this produces has led to CLBC developing a Strategy on Aging that is a collaborative and proactive response.

Click here to read the CLBC Strategy on Aging.

Report on Spring 2015 Aging Forums

The CLBC Strategy on Aging highlighted the need to work with key stakeholders to identify what is working well in communities across B.C. In the spring of 2015, CLBC held nine forums to gather information about succesful practices for supporting aging individuals with developmental disabilities.

The forums were organized with the help of community service providers and the Ministry for Social Development and Social Innovation, STADD Early Implementation Site for Older Adults (Burnaby), and brought together 800 participants.

Click here to read a report on the findings of the forums.

CLBC Aging Parents / Caregivers Pamphlet

The Ageing Parents / Caregivers Pamphlet has been developed as a resource to help inform aging parents/caregivers of the need to, and benefits of making a plan with their family member as they both age. The pamphlet was developed with input and assistance from CLBC’s Provincial Advisory Committee and the Surrey Community Council.

Click here to download the pamphlet.

Joint CLBC / Ministry of Health Action Plan

CLBC and the Ministry of Health (MoH) are developing a three-year action plan “A Collaborative Approach to Supporting Aging Adults with Developmental Disabilities“.

To learn more, click here to read the DRAFT action plan.

One of the first projects that CLBC and MoH have collaborated on is an inventory of resources on aging which you can access below.

Inventory of Resources on Aging

This inventory provides information and links to various articles, information sheets and wide variety of organizations that support aging knowledge. These resources can assist individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, support networks, community living service providers and health care professionals to become aware of information, tools and resources that can support early planning for healthy aging.

Click to here access the Inventory of Resources on Aging.

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