Promoting Collaboration Between Hospice and Palliative Care Providers and Adult Day Services for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Corina R. Ronneberg, Lisa Peters-Beumer, Beth Marks, and Alan Factor

Abstract While end-of-life issues are increasingly gaining more attention, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to receive significantly less consideration in research, education, and clinical practice compared with the general population. This is a growing concern especially since the sheer number of persons aging with IDD is expected to double in the next 17 years. Furthermore, policies are shifting to reflect a preference for home and community-based services as an alternative to institutionalization, and it becomes evident that adult day services (ADS) may be ideal settings for receipt of end-of-life care, especially among individuals with IDD. However, end-of-life care and advance planning most commonly occur in long-term care settings for the general population and have historically been less of a priority in ADS and residential services for people with IDD. This article discusses the attitudes of, and collaboration between, ADS and end-of-life providers for aging adults including persons with IDD and explores how ADS may be a great pathway for delivering end-of-life care to the IDD population. Implications and recommendations will also be examined.