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Transitions in Aging

Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities as Caregivers


Photo This module is part of the Transitions in Aging project funded by the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.

This module was developed by Dr. Pei-Chun Hsieh, a faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University, with support from Ms. Celia Feinstein, the Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities and her staff at Temple University.

We would also like to thank Ms. Cassandra Watts, and Kendra Smith for their assistance with this project.

We appreciate your interest in this topic. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Pei-Chun Hsieh at

How to Navigate

To ensure you have a good experience navigating within the modules, here are instructions on how to use each element.

  1. You can use the menu on the left side to go to different slides.

    Graphic of sample menu for different slides

  2. When you finish reading or listening to a slide, click the "NEXT:" button to move to the next slide.

    Graphic of sample next button

  3. Located at the bottom of each page. Click on this button to show all of the information to read for that slide.

    Graphic of sample notes and references button

  4. Click the triangle button in the black bar to have the information on the screen read to you.

    Graphic of sample audio player with circled play button

  5. To change the volume of the voice over click on this button, circled in red here.

    Graphic of sample audio player with circled sound control

  6. After you have completed all of the slides in the module, we would appreciate if you would complete the survey and provide us with your feedback. This button can be found at the bottom of the left side panel.

    Graphic of sample menu for different slides with circled feedback button

NEXT: Learning Outcomes

Notes and References

Most of us will provide direct and indirect care to our loved ones at some point in our lives.

Many aging family members, usually older parents, support adults with developmental disabilities within their family home.1 As these family members age, individuals with developmental disabilities may take on supportive roles. Life happens. We will not always know when we will be needed as a caregiver. Therefore, this module will discuss how to support an individual with developmental disabilities who may be called upon to support their aging family members in the future.


  1. Yamaki, K., Hsieh, K. & Heller, T. (2009). Health profile of ageing family caregivers supporting adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 47, 425-435.