Promoting Healthy Aging of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Qualitative Case Study

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This qualitative case study sought to examine an innovative community outreach nursing program designed to promote healthy aging for more than 250 individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities living in the community. We analyzed 10 in-depth interviews, one focus group, and various documents using thematic analysis. We researched why the program emerged and found the reasons to be improving the communication with primary care providers, providing person-centered health care, and building on and contributing to existing community-based programs. Findings on what the daily work of community outreach nurses with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities entailed, included person-centered health education, advocacy for the safe return home, support for staff to understand that health issues can lead to behavior changes, and enabling social participation. This case study may inspire further research or help others develop similar programs.

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