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Aging and Mental Retardation

  • Ellen M. Cotter
  • Louis D. Burgio
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)

Abstract

With the recent growth in the population of older adults, there has been a concomitant increase in the visibility of “special populations” of elders. One “special population” consists of older adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Although estimates of the size of this population vary, it is expected that by the year 2025 there will be between 400,000 and one million people over the age of 65 with developmental disabilities living in the United States (see Anderson, 1993, for a review of other pertinent statistics). It is believed that older adults with mental retardation constitute a group with special needs beyond those of the general aged population (Newbern & Hargett, 1992). For example, older adults with mental retardation have fewer compensatory abilities than their nonretarded peers to adjust for age-associated declines in functioning (Jenkins, Hildreth, & Hildreth, 1993). As a result, there has been a recent effort by researchers, health care professionals, and other service providers to identify the pertinent characteristics and needs of this special population. This information would help to determine whether existing services for older adults and persons with mental retardation are adequate for meeting their needs.

Keywords

Mental Illness Behavior Problem Mental Retardation Down Syndrome Developmental Disability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen M. Cotter
    • 1
  • Louis D. Burgio
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Aging, Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, and Department of PsychologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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