For Families and Carers : Getting Older

Older couple

Ageing together – Families Getting Older


Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for people with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60 years with small numbers reaching their 70s and beyond. Greater numbers of adults are leaving the family home and, with support, they are leading fulfilling and active lives in their communities. There is information about healthy ageing here

Thinking about the future – first steps

Although it can be a difficult process emotionally, it is never too early to start thinking and talking about plans for the future. It will take time to gather the information that you need from your relative with Down’s syndrome and to work with Social Services to make sure that the right support is in place when you and your relative need it. Talk to your relative with Down’s syndrome about their wishes and hopes. You can read more about supporting people to make decisions in our factsheet about the Mental Capacity Act. Involve those who are close to your relative in discussions (e.g. siblings, friends, supporters) about planning for the future. This can be the first step in creating a Circle of Support for your relative. Other parents are always a good source of information about local support. DSA can put out a request via Social Media for other families in your area.

Thinking about the future – next steps

You may never have had any contact with Social Services so it may feel like a big step asking for support to plan ahead. As a start, you may like to read our resources about getting help from Social Services and about Supported Living. When the time is right, you can ask Social Services for an assessment of your relative’s needs. As a carer you can also ask Social Services for a separate assessment of your needs.


You may like to join our closed Facebook Group for parents and practitioners supporting adults (25 years plus) – click here for further information

DSA Journal (No. 132 Autumn/Winter 2015) Article ‘Supporting older families to plan for the future’ by Dalia Magrill

Health Series: Getting Older (DSA)

Thinking Ahead – A Planning Guide for Families (FPLD)

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