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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Caregivers of Adults with Disabilities

Many older Ohioans are the primary caregivers to adult sons or daughters with developmental disabilities. These parents are often faced with tough challenges as both they and their children age. They want their children to continue getting the quality of care they deserve, even while they begin to rely more and more on others for support themselves.

In 1999, the Department of Aging partnered with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODDD) and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) to support families in this unique "double jeopardy" situation.

A series of focus groups in 2000 gave us a better picture of these families and the challenges they face.

  • Many parents in this situation believe they will outlive their children. They never thought they would have to plan for their child's future and many have little or no idea about how to do it - and even less support and direction.
  • Very few parents have made any kind of plans for their own future - their focus on planning is centered around their children’s needs.
  • Those few parents who have made some kind of arrangements for the future were concerned that their plans were not done correctly because they often do not have access to accurate, understandable information or qualified professionals (attorneys and financial planners).
  • At the time this initiative started, the aging network and Ohio's support system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities did not interact and knew very little about each other. Many of these families are embroiled in the developmental disabilities system and unaware of the services and supports available through the aging network.

Your Area Agency on Aging can help you find the supports and services available where you live.