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Loss and grief within intellectual disability

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posted on 2015-10-23, 11:04 authored by Owen DoodyOwen Doody
One of the most significant trends seen in recent years has been the increasing longevity of people with intellectual disability (Doody et al., 2013). Advances in medical and neonatal care along with deinstitutionalisation have increased life expectancy for most individuals with intellectual disability. In today’s society individuals with intellectual disability live with family members, in special assisted living facilities, community group-homes or on their own. Just like anyone else people with intellectual disability have created and developed attachments to various persons be it family members, fellow residents, staff members, co-workers, members of their communities, and other friends. With such attachments comes the experience of loss, where staff members leave, other residents relocate or die and the death of a parent, caregiver or family member may occur. Thereby loss and grief are a natural part life however; individuals with intellectual disability may experience significant secondary losses such as the loss of a parent or caregiver may necessitate a change in residence leading to a cascade of losses that may include friends, neighbors and employment. In addition some higher functioning individuals may experience a sense of grief and loss over their disability where they experience a persistent sense of loss over the fact that they are perceived as different from others.

History

Publication

Frontline;95, summer, pp. 22-23

Publisher

Frontline: The Irish Voice of Intellectual Disability

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Language

English

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