Psychosocial experiences of the ageing of middle-aged people with intellectual disabilities in South Korea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

External departments

  • Soongsil University
  • Dongguk University, Gyeongju

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Early online date25 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Dec 2018
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study aims to explore the psychosocial experiences of the ageing of middle-aged people with intellectual disabilities in Korea. Data were collected through 28 face-to-face interviews with Korean individuals with intellectual disabilities, aged between 40 and 50. This study identified several key factors faced by middle-aged people with intellectual disabilities. First, they experience financial constraints due to a lack of economic self-determination. Second, they have a very narrow range of social connections. Typically, they have small and weak networks consisting of only a few social workers, personal assistants, or group home workers, or their peers at group home or workshops. This is often due to a lack of information, money, and age-appropriate services. Third, those who have jobs in middle age have positive opportunities acquired through work. Fourth, study participants experienced considerable unspecified anxiety about ageing, as well as fear of death and uncertainty regarding the future. Recommendations are made to improve active ageing in an appropriate setting for middle-aged people with intellectual disabilities. Improved training and education about economic self-determination are needed for these individuals and their families, as well as improved information about community services. Moreover, enhanced community services for them must be developed. These individuals would benefit from improved employment opportunities as well. Workshops regarding active ageing and death should be developed. Finally, future plans for living placement must be in place.

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