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Title: Assisting individuals ageing with learning disability: support worker perspectives
Contributor(s): Wark, Stuart  (author)orcid ; Hussain, Rafat  (author); Edwards, Helen  (author)
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1108/TLDR-02-2015-0008
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Abstract: Purpose - While ageing with an intellectual (learning) disability has been subject to increased research in recent years, there remains little knowledge regarding the daily practice issues that disability workers struggle most to support in this cohort. The purpose of this paper is to gain feedback directly from staff regarding the problems they experience in daily work, and to evaluate whether any changes to legislation or practice could potentially alleviate identified areas of concern. Design/methodology/approach - A Delphi project was conducted over three rounds with participants from rural areas of New South Wales (NSW). The panel was composed of support workers who assist people ageing with a learning disability. Participants were asked their perceptions of the main practice issues facing them while they provide support. Findings - The panel identified 29 issues that were considered problematic in the provision of support to people ageing with a learning disability. A thematic analysis indicated three main themes of access to services; time constraints; and funding. Research limitations/implications - The participants in this study were all disability workers employed by non-government organisations in rural NSW, and as such, many of the issues identified may be specific to this population cohort and geographic setting. Any generalisation of these results to other locations or populations must be considered within these limitations. Originality/value - Identification of the issues facing disability staff may facilitate government, health care providers and disability organisations to proactively plan to address current and future problem areas. The consequent effect of improving practices can assist individuals to receive better support and lead to a corresponding improvement in their quality of life. The current implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia is an ideal opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration to change practice to facilitate better support for a highly vulnerable group of the community.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Tizard Learning Disability Review, 20(4), p. 213-222
Publisher: Pier Professional Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2042-8782
Field of Research (FOR): 111708 Health and Community Services
111702 Aged Health Care
111703 Care for Disabled
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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