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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • aging in place;
  • comparative policy;
  • intellectual disabilities

Abstract

International covenants and domestic social policies in most developed countries regard people with intellectual disability as citizens with equal rights, suggesting they should have the similar aspirations of a healthy and active old age as the general community, and an expectation of the necessary supports to achieve this. This article compares the development and implementation of accommodation support policies for people aging with intellectual disabilities in five liberal welfare states. It describes the limited development of policies in this area and suggests possible reasons why this is the case. A review of the peer reviewed and grey or unpublished advocacy and policy literature on aging policies for people with intellectual disability was conducted which covered Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. Despite consistent identification of similar broad policy issues and overarching goals, little progress has been made in the development of more specific policies or implementation strategies to address issues associated with accommodation support as people age. Policy debates have conceptualized the problem as aging in place and the shared responsibility of the aged-care and disability sectors. This may have detracted from either sector leading the development of, or taking responsibility for, formulating, implementing, and resourcing a strong policy framework.