IDD Older Adult
February 17, 2023

Help for Older Adults and their Families with Developmental Disabilities

Help for Older Adults and their Families with Developmental Disabilities
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

By Colleen Scott, NYSOFA Advocacy Specialist

Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DDs) are differences that are usually present at birth and that uniquely affect the trajectory of an individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development. Many of these conditions affect multiple body parts or systems.

Intellectual disability starts any time before a child turns 18 and is characterized by differences with both:

  • Intellectual functioning or intelligence, which include the ability to learn, reason, problem solve, and other skills; and
  • Adaptive behavior, which includes everyday social and life skills.

Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability. It is the most common developmental disability.

Older Adult Caregivers

Approximately 1 million individuals aged 60 or older in the U.S. are providing care for an adult with I/DDs such as autism, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome. While individuals with I/DD are experiencing longer life expectancies, they are also faced with health disparities and inequities which negatively impact their quality of life as they age.

New NYSOFA Resource to Help

Older adults providing care to someone with I/DD may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of planning for the future. NYSOFA has recently developed a guidebook to help, and we encourage aging services providers to share this resource with the community.

NYSOFA’s Future Planning Guidebook For Older Caregivers of Adults with I/DD connects older adult caregivers with information and resources to begin the process of long-term planning. This includes financial and legal tools as well as supportive programs and services. Please read this resource and share it with anyone who may need assistance planning for the long term needs of a son or daughter with I/DD.

Did you know?


In addition to NYSOFA’s Future Planning Guidebook, please see the following resources for further information: