Successful Community Living For People With Intellectual Disabilities

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Factors that Promote Successful Community Living for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Yvonne Ruiz
Cairn University

Author Note
Yvonne Ruiz, Department of Social Work, Cairn University.
Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Yvonne Ruiz,
Department of Social Work, Cairn University, Philadelphia, Pa 19047

Factors that Promote Successful Community Living for People with Intellectual Disabilities In 2010, in 25 states more than 90% of all people with intellectual disabilities lived in community housing, group homes, and small residential treatment facilities, with 15 or fewer residents (Larson et al., 2012). This study is to show that given the right resources people with intellectual disabilities can live a successful quality of life in the community. People with intellectual disabilities living in the community need a variety of supportive services to be successful. They face many new challenges, moving from an institutional setting to the community. The quality of service provided by staff is said by researchers to be a key component to the successful outcome for community living for people with PWID (Mansell, 2006). PWID’s who demonstrate higher support needs because of severe physical disabilities, challenging behavior, or social impairment often experience poorer out comes than people whose disabilities are considered mild or moderate. (Felce & Emerson, 2001). Neefy-Barnes (2008) study revealed that persons with severe intellectual disabilities have limited access to the community. To ensure positive outcomes several factors need to be in place. Specialized training, staff has to be able to respond to the immediate demands of challenging behaviors and learn to “implement strategies to bring about positive behavior change” (Perry, Felce, et al., 2011, p. 2). An informal social network for preventative factors and quality of life, and health promotion are key factors. One research study revealed that when staff were given an initial induction and in-service training on how to implement Positive Behavioral Support, and instructions in active support as a primary prevention strategy, there was a reduction in challenging behaviors (Perry, Felce, et al., 2011). People with the most severe disabilities were empowered to grow and develop as individuals and to engage in meaningful activity and relationships in their community (Perry, Felce, et al., 2011). “Active support is designed to increase the opportunities for PWID to have everyday activities and to receive assistance from staff to do them successfully” (Perry, Felce, et al., 2011, p. 5). “It involves three organizational elements: (1) staff plan activities and the deployment of their time on a daily basis, (2) staff interact with the people with whom they work in a way geared to support and encourage their participation in activity, and (3) staff record and summarize the activities that individuals have been given the opportunity to do, thereby providing information to monitor the implementation and impact of the approach” (Perry, Felce, et al., 2011, p. 5). PWID need a social network to experience quality of life. A social network is another factor that promotes the successful integration and quality of life for community living with PWID. Factors such as good relations with family, employment and leisure activities in the community can serve as protective factors (Wahlstrom, et al. 2014). Family is extremely important for emotional support, advocacy, and monitoring the quality of care/service. These protective factor are also associated with better physical and psychological health (Bigby, 2008). However, the lack of informal support has been link to loneliness, mental illness, and suicide risk (Jones, Carpenter, et. al 2012). Informal support