This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund
The purpose of the study: This study aims to describe and analyze the shared experiences of residents and staff in out-of-home housing settings for older adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and to compare dormitory housing with community housing.
Method: Researchers conducted this qualitative study during the end of the Corona period (the fourth and fifth waves and the “return to normality”). It involved interviewing 16 older adults with IDD living in out-of-home housing (8 from community housing and 8 from dormitory housing) and 17 care workers working in these settings (9 from community housing and 8 from dormitory housing), totaling 33 in-depth interviews.
Findings: The analysis of the interviews highlighted three main themes:
a. “Everything we knew was no longer relevant”: The role of the coronavirus as a new factor in the housing frameworks for elderly people with IDD.
b. “It was a danger to life. Their lives are in my hands”: The structure of the care team in out-of-home housing frameworks for elderly people with IDD.
c. “I think we are much smarter. In retrospect, I would have done things differently…” Lessons learned from the coronavirus situation.
Conclusions: It is necessary to create intervention programs tailored to emergencies in out-of-home housing, considering the advanced age and functioning of people with IDD.
Keywords: IDD, old age, coronavirus, emergencies, out-of-home housing, non-institutionalization, intersectionality.