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Social Participation

  • Older people with intellectual disabilities continued to be more socially excluded than their counterparts in the general population; while those with severe-profound levels of ID and those living in institutional settings remain the most excluded across practically all measures.

  • Overall there has been a decrease in the number of older people with ID who live in close proximity to their family members.

  • Respondents with the most frequent family contact continued to be male, younger, with milder levels of ID and living in community settings; respondents with severe-profound ID and those living in institutional settings continued to have the least family contact.

  • The vast majority of respondents had friends (92.4%, n=560), the most common type being a co-resident friend (71.8%, n=402); however, a majority also reported they had friends outside their home (62.0%, n=347), and a similar number reported their keyworker/support staff were their friends (62.5%, n=350).

  • Just over half (56.6%, n=317) reported that they had a best friend and almost two-thirds (63.2%, n=187) said that their best friend was someone with an intellectual disability.

  • Three-quarters of respondents (77.6%, n=256) had contact at least once a week with nonresident friends and a further (10.9% n=36) had monthly contact; overall the rate of regular contacts increased by 4.8% between Waves 2 and 3.

  • The vast majority of older people with ID continue to engage in a broad range of social activities and most do these activities within their local communities; while the most popular organisations were ‘Sports, Social or Leisure Club’, ‘Arts or Music’ and ‘Advocacy Group’. ‘Special Olympics’ fell from the first to fourth most popular between Waves 1 and 3.

  • There was a significant drop in the rate of giving support to family between Wave 2 (17.6%, n=118) and Wave 3 (11.9% n=68); while there was a small increase in the rate of helping friends and neighbours; however, older people with ID continued to have lower rates of providing help and support than the general older population.

  • Four out of five respondents reported a sense of belonging to their local community.

  • Older people with ID continue to be dependent on others for their transport, in contrast to the general older population. Overall, 92.7% (n=523) were driven as a passenger (just one person reported driving themselves), while just 29.7% (n=145) used bus transport.

  • The vast majority of respondents (96.4%, n=556) said that the day activity they described was what they had wanted to do.

  • Just over a quarter of respondents felt that a lack of transport facilities in their area affected their lifestyle (25.2%, n=111), and that they would like to use more public transport (26.7%, n=106).

  • Half of respondents (50.0%, n=294) reported they had not spent any full days at home in the previous week, and a further 17% (n=100) spent just one full day at home; however, 6.1% (n=36) had not left the house at all in the previous week; while most who did not leave the house for at least one day had to stay at home for reasons other than their choice.