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Future need of ageing people with an intellectual disability in the Republic of Ireland: lessons learned from the literature



Accessible summary

  •  This article synthesises current literature regarding ageing and service provision for people with an intellectual disability.
  •  People with intellectual disability are living longer.
  •  Services need to respond to the needs of older people with intellectual disability.


People with an intellectual disability are living longer, and the numbers continue to rise. Ireland has and is seeing a dramatic change in the age profile of clients and the support services they require. While Ireland had specifically trained nurses in intellectual disability, they predominately work in residential settings. This can be seen as been at odds with the philosophy of supporting people with intellectual disability live at home with their family and the primary care system. As the ageing population is rising, intellectual disability services need to proactively develop and respond to this changing age profile by reviewing and adjusting the way in which they deliver services, not only in terms of how services develop and respond to a changing age profile but also in terms of collaborative working across all health services.