This article was written by Sue Gregg, the Midwest Regional Director for Caregiver Homes.
Double Jeopardy is a term used to describe families that are comprised of elderly caregiver parents providing supports to their aging children with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD). What creates the “double jeopardy” besides the effects of aging and disability status of the parent and adult child? Many of these families have never reached out for public services within their state or local agencies for intellectual and developmental disabilities.
As recent as the mid-1900s, the life expectancy for people with ID/DD was less than 30 years. Many parents were told not to worry about planning for their children’s future, as their children would not out live them. Many were institutionalized or kept hidden at home. By the 1980s, the difference in life expectancy was only 17 years less for those with ID/DD than the general population. Today, the life expectancy is the same as the general population unless there are underlying medical conditions.
Here are some statistics:
- It is estimated in the US today, there are 641,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities over the age of 60 and given the effects of the “Baby Boomers,” that number will rise to 2.1 million by 2030.
- 76% of these individuals are cared for at home. In 25% of these households, the parents are over age 60, and the average age of the person with ID/DD is 38 years. It is also not uncommon for the adult child to care for their aging parent.
Many parents now wonder: Who will care for my child when I’m gone? Where are they going to live? Who is going to pay to take care of them? These are all valid concerns and many times when not answered or planned for, the person with ID/DD may end up in a location that the parents had worked so hard to avoid. There are resources available should you be a potential Double Jeopardy Family or know someone who could benefit from learning more. Information on home and community-based services available in your state can be found through the state agencies for intellectual/developmental disabilities, state agencies for aging and local Area Agencies on Aging. Many states also have regional agencies through county governments and Aging and Disability Resource Networks (ADRNs).
More insights like this:
5 Great Holiday Nutritional Tips for Loved Ones with Complicated Medical ConditionsRead more: 5 Great Holiday Nutritional Tips for Loved Ones with Complicated Medical Conditions
For many of us, the holiday season is a time of celebration, reconnecting with friends and family, and eating lots of delicious food. But for people with medical conditions that place restrictions on what they’re able to eat, the holidays can be a difficult time to stay on track.
Caring for Someone with End-Stage COPD? Here’s What You Should KnowRead more: Caring for Someone with End-Stage COPD? Here’s What You Should Know
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive condition for which a cure has not yet been discovered. It inflames a person’s lungs in a way that can obstruct the airway with swelling and the production of mucus. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two lung conditions that cause COPD, and they tend…
Caring for a Child with Disabilities? Here are Your Financial Assistance OptionsRead more: Caring for a Child with Disabilities? Here are Your Financial Assistance Options
When your child has disabilities that require 24/7 care, caring for them at home might be the option that best suits their needs, with the added benefit of keeping them close to you every day. But home care also comes with emotional and financial obstacles that can lead to caregiver burnout or make…