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aging, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and healthcare, prevention



  1. Alexander, Lisa M. EdD, MPH, PA-C
  2. Bullock, Kim MD, MPH
  3. Maring, Joyce R. PT, EdD


Service providers are becoming sensitized to unique aspects of aging and its impact on health, and the healthcare delivery system for all, including those with preexisting disabilities. However, many have little or no experience navigating the complexity of conditions that are often superimposed on preexisting disabilities. The inadequate number of service providers with the expertise in health conditions related to the older adult will significantly impact adults with developmental disabilities, one of the most vulnerable and fragile segments of American society. This article reviews the health considerations of the aging individual with developmental disabilities and emphasizes prevention of further disabling conditions. Since the aging process often affects the disabled earlier than the nondisabled population, a preventive approach that preserves functional mobility, strength, and range of motion is of critical importance.