A study published January 2012 by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) says many adults with disabilities do not have regular daily activities. This lack of educational-vocational activity leads to larger problems, such as depression, poor health, and less close sibling relationships.
The study investigated nearly 800 participants; siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities completed a web-based survey. Results show that nearly 13 percent of these adults did not participate in daytime activities, and they typically had more health and emotional problems, were underserved by the service system, and had parents who were less able to provide care.
Researchers said these adults who did not have daily activities had three times the unmet needs as their peers who are working, volunteering, or attending school. These individuals are perhaps the most in need of formal support and activities, yet they are the ones not receiving care.
Additionally, the siblings of those individuals not participating in daily activities also had poorer mental and physical health, and their relationships with their disabled siblings were weaker.
When individuals with disabilities age out of the school system, where many of their needs are provided for, they typically either stay home or are placed in a community home. Many of these group homes are expensive or hard to get into, which makes it more difficult for families to provide long-term care for these adults.
Research such as this study shows that quality of life is greatly impacted for these adults who do not engage in daily activities. It also serves as a call to change systems, so that these individuals are receiving care.
Photo by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois