The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome (DS) has increased significantly over the last few decades. Consequently, they and their families face new ageing-related challenges, the first signs of which appear in people with DS around the age of 30. The goal of this study was to explore the perceptions of adults with DS regarding their own and their parents' ageing and end of life, and to examine the views and concerns of the parents regarding the ageing of their children with DS. The unique approach used in our study was to convene not only the ageing people with DS but also their parents, to discuss the subject together. A total of 33 people with DS participated in the study. Most of them were interviewed with one or two parents. Participants with DS found it difficult to talk about their own old age and addressed the issue mainly through the decline in the functioning of an older person they knew. The parents emphasised the changes needed in terms of the official regulations, so as to ensure that their children with DS age with dignity and quality of life. Our study identifies the increasingly pressing need to prepare adults with DS for their own and their parents' ageing and end of life in a timely manner.
- Down syndrome
- end of life