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, www.AwareShareCare.ca, 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:
- Looking Forward to the Future: Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities as they Age – a book of stories about how people have come together to create positive outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities as they age. This resource is aimed at inspiring other people to use similar strategies to create their own stories of successful practice.
- 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.
In 2011, CLBC began its strategy on aging by conducting forums with a diverse range of participants throughout the province, working with government partners and various stakeholders to help build a better understanding of aging and what best practices should be used.
Community Living BC supports over 20,000 adults with development disabilities across B.C., including individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder who also have significant limitations in daily functioning. Approximately 4,550 of these individuals are over the age of 50. For the past five years, CLBC has seen a 27 per cent increase in aging individuals and those numbers are expected to grow each year.
Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson –
“These tools will help provide information to empower individuals and support caregivers on the important aspects of healthy aging. Creating a healthy support network for individuals and families as loved ones age is part of the foundation of healthy communities.”
CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae –
“CLBC wants individuals and their families to begin planning as soon as possible. These new resources are important tools to help support aging individuals and their families to think and talk about planning, aging and disability. This process will be different for each person but the sooner people begin planning, the better.”
Gord Robertson – Family Member and Story Contributor in ‘Looking forward to the future’
“In our experience planning for a family member who has unique and specialized support needs has to start early. The future has to be much more deliberately navigated; aging sometimes has to be anticipated at a much earlier point in life. We spend hours helping our 30-year-old daughter pick clothing, pick movies and arrange outings. This reality means that conversations about our aging and our daughter’s aging have had to happen earlier and differently than in some families so we are as ready as we can be for whatever life brings us.”
Community Living BC