People with disabilities are generally living longer and healthier lives, due to advancements in medicine, improved living situations, and care practices, and continued funding for disability supports, among other things. However, the current support systems in place are not equipped to handle the growing number of people with disabilities who are aging. One of the reasons for this shortfall is lack of understanding about the aging process among people with disabilities. For this reason, Access Independent Living Services, in partnership with a multi-disciplinary team is embarking on a research project looking at the experiences of people with disabilities and the aging process. We will be conducting 20 focus groups in the next couple of months. We are currently looking for interested participants for three (3) focus groups that will be organized in partnership with the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT).
Some of the questions we will be asking during the focus groups include:
• What is the aging process like for people with disabilities?
• How do services change throughout the aging process, and how can they be improved so that the aging process is respectful and dignified for people with disabilities?
• What unique challenges do people with disabilities and their care providers encounter throughout the aging process?
The information that we collect from the focus groups will be used to compile a report about the aging process for people with disabilities. This report will be available to all participants and to the public by the Summer of 2015.