I was at an information fair for parents of teens with developmental and intellectual disabilities last week.  The room was absolutely packed.  Every parent there came equipped with questions and wasn’t leaving without answers – or, at least, the next stop on the way to an answer.

Now every parent of a teen – whether typical or atypical – has lots of questions and lots of worries about the future.  But the parents that I met last week have a lot more hoops to jump through to see their adolescents safely through to adulthood and beyond.

Funny thing about words.  If you say “developmental disability”, chances are you picture a child.  Or maybe a young adult.  Not that many people picture a senior citizen.  But we should.  That’s because more and more people with developmental disabilities are living well into their senior years.  Times have changed.  And so should our thinking.

The province of British Columbia has already started down that path. In some parts of B.C. seniors with developmental disabilities and their families can work with a navigator service that will help them figure out living arrangements, new ways to keep busy as they age.   It’s one-stop shopping.  And who wouldn't love that?

I don’t know if you’re a CBC Radio listener.  I am.  (Small surprise, since I worked there for over ¼ century).  Anyway, I was listening to The Sunday Edition and waiting for a documentary called “Radical Rest Homes”.  It let us listen to the discussion among older women who are working to figure out another way to live in their senior years – another kind of housing, another kind of living arrangement.  If you haven’t had a chance to hear the documentary, here’s the link

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