Parental caregiving for an adult family member with intellectual disability in late life: experiences of older Anglo and Greek/Italian migrant parents in Australia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

have experienced improvements in life expectancy, due to
both advances in medical technology and improved social
conditions. At the same time, the shift from institutional
care to care in the community means that ageing parents
often play an extended caregiving role, acting as primary
caregiver for their adult child well into late life. Very few
studies have focused on the caregiving experience; instead
focusing mainly on the experiences of parents who reside in
their country of origin.
Aim: This research compares and contrasts how older
parents living in Australia who are from Anglo Australian and
Greek/Italian backgrounds experience caring for an adult
child with ID.
Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were carried
out with n=15 Anglo Australian mothers and fathers (average
age 70), n=4 Greek mothers (average age 78) and n=6
Italian mothers and n=1 couple (average age 72). On
average their adult children were aged 41 years (range 22 to
53 years).
Findings: The main themes to emerge, regardless of cultural
background, were: (a) the perpetual parenting role (b)
uncertain futures and (c) complexity of sibling involvement.
The parents from Greek and Italian backgrounds additionally
face particular issues around potential social isolation as a
result of their caregiving role and adult child’s disability. The
strong cultural expectation that wider family members, such
as siblings, will provide on-going care in the future can also
create potential vulnerability for the adult son or daughter
with ID if this expectation remains unmet.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need for information and
support for growing numbers of ageing parents caring
for offspring with ID, particularly those from culturally and
linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages38
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2018
EventNew Zealand Association of Gerontology Conference -
Duration: 6 Sep 2018 → …

Conference

ConferenceNew Zealand Association of Gerontology Conference
Period6/09/18 → …

Keywords

  • intellectual disability
  • parenting
  • Australia
  • older parents

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